Flights canceled as UK airline Flybe slides into bankruptcy

LONDON — Struggling British regional airline Flybe collapsed for the second time in three years on Saturday, putting jobs at risk and leaving passengers stranded.

The airline first descended into bankruptcy in March 2020, cutting 2,400 jobs, as coronavirus restrictions decimated the travel industry. It was relaunched in April last year, operating many of the same routes from Belfast, Birmingham and London Heathrow.

In a statement, the ground flyer said it had again called bankrupt accountants and warned passengers not to travel to airports as all flights were now cancelled, including its international connections from Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority said passengers would have to “make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators”, leaving customers with long and potentially expensive to get home.

CAA Consumer Director Paul Smith said: “It is always sad to see an airline go into administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to cease operations will be painful for all of its employees and customers. .”

Flybe returned to the skies less than 12 months ago with a plan to operate up to 530 flights per week on 23 routes. Its business and assets were acquired in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.

The UK government has said its immediate priority will be to support all those trying to return home and those who have lost their jobs.

“This remains a challenging environment for airlines, old and new, as they recover from the pandemic, and we understand the impact this will have on Flybe passengers and staff,” he said. .

“The Civil Aviation Authority provides guidance to passengers to help them make their journeys as smooth and affordable as possible.

He added that most of Flybe’s destinations were in the UK, so alternative transport was available.

ABC News

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