For the second time in less than three years, airline flybe has canceled all flights in and out of the UK after going into administration with around 75,000 passengers affected.
The unfortunate development, which is repeating itself today, after first occurring during the bloodbath of an epidemic, asks some serious questions about the business and models of the regional airline.
The UK civil aviation regulator-CAA issued a statement in this regard saying,
Flybe, which operated regular services from Belfast City, Birmingham and Heathrow to airports across the UK and to Amsterdam and Geneva, has ceased trading.
All Flybe flights are now cancelled. Please do not arrive at the airport as flights will not operate.
Also read on the flybe website
On 28 January 2023, the High Court appointed David Pike and Mike Fink as joint directors of Flybe Limited (“Flybe”).
Flybe has now ceased trading and all flights to and from England operated by Flybe have been and will be cancelled No be rescheduled.
Flybe 1.0 and its fall!
Founded on 1 November 1979 in Exeter – UK, Flybe once provided more than half of the UK’s domestic flights out of London, dominating the UK domestic flight market.
Flybe 1.0 had a significant market presence in UK regional connectivity, operating up to 46 routes before the pandemic, but the company was among the first to collapse due to the pandemic’s impact on air travel.
The regional airline shut down on March 5, 2020, with 2,400 of its staff losing their jobs and thousands of passengers seeing their flights cancelled.
The airline was rescued last year by Thyme Opco, a company linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital. It offered service from Belfast, Ireland, and Birmingham and Heathrow to airports across the UK and to Amsterdam and Geneva.
Delayed delivery of aircraft among the reasons for the collapse
By global standards, the UK has a relatively low use of commercial domestic flights, which could have been a hindrance to the pandemic’s recovery. Sources also say that Flybe’s expansion plans suffered a major blow due to the delay in the delivery of aircraft and the collapse at the end.
Earlier, we all witnessed Flybe removing some of its routes from sale due to a shortage of aircraft, and it was understood that the trend of cutting flights could continue until the summer of 2023.
A few months ago, routes from Belfast City (EGAC) to Aberdeen (EGPD), Inverness (EGPE) and Newcastle (EGNT) and Birmingham (EGBB) to Aberdeen (EGPD) were removed from sale.
What about passengers now?
Philev has advice for travelers and she says,
If you are a traveler affected by this incident, please read the advice below.
If you are due to fly with Flybe today or in the future, please Don’t go to the airport Unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that unfortunately Flybe is unable to arrange alternative flights for passengers.
If you have a Flybe booking sold by an intermediary (ie not directly with Flybe) that includes travel on a Flybe flight, please contact the relevant airline or booking/travel agent to confirm if there is any impact on your travel plans, as the intermediary may be able Support you with alternative arrangements and provide further advice on any claim you may need to make.
The UK-CAA statement read,
Flybe customers who still need to travel will need to make their own alternative travel arrangements using other airlines, trains or train operators.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority will provide advice and information to affected passengers. More information can be found at www.caa.co.uk/news when available. Information will also be available on our Twitter feed @UK_CAA .
Paul Smith, Consumer Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“It is always sad to see an airline go into administration and we know Flybe’s decision to cease trading will be distressing for all its employees and customers.
“We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to arrive at the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled. For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the Civil Aviation Authority website or our Twitter feed for more information.”
David John Pike and Michael Robert Fink were appointed by the High Court on 28 January 2023 as joint administrators to assist in the management of the affairs, business and property of Flybe Limited, in accordance with the powers and duties contained in the order appointing them.
The joint managers act as agents of the company, without personal liability. David John Pike and Michael Robert Fink are authorized to act as insolvency practitioners by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Flybe news from the past…