The UK airline Flybe has entered administration, putting more than 2,000 jobs at risk.
The airline narrowly avoided collapse in January, but its rescue plan was hampered by the impact of the coronavirus. The spread of the virus around the world has been a sharp decline in flight bookings for several airlines. And Flybe’s already perilous position left it unable to cope with the impact.
The airline has advised passengers not to travel to the airport unless they have made alternative arrangements with other airlines.
In a letter to staff, chief executive Mark Anderson said: “Despite every effort, we now have no alternative – having failed to find a feasible solution to allow us to keep trading.
“I am very sorry that we have not been able to secure the funding needed to continue to deliver our turnaround.”
The government has said it will support staff to find new jobs and is already working to find other airlines to operate key routes. In a statement, it said: “We are working closely with industry to minimise any disruption to routes operated by Flybe, including by looking urgently at how routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established by the industry. ”
The collapse could also have a knock-on effect with several airports around the UK. Flybe was responsible for the vast majority of flights, and in some cases all flights, at airports including Cardiff, Belfast City, Exeter, Southampton and others. Losing Flybe puts their futures at risk, too.
Some routes were franchised by regional airlines, such as Logan Air and Eastern Airways, which used Flybe’s booking systems. However, it is unclear whether or not these types of airlines will be in a position to expand to take up Flybe’s lost flights.