THOUSANDS of Flybe passengers are left fearing for their flights as the airline is said to be on the brink of collapse.
A new report has revealed that Europe’s largest regional airline is in new talks to find emergency funding due to rising losses.
Flybe is ‘on the brink of collapse’ following emergency funding talksCredit: Reuters
The airline operates more UK domestic flights than any other.
Sky News reported that Flybe has been holding talks with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport (DfT) on whether the government could provide or facilitate any emergency financing to the company.
Some 2,000 jobs are said to be at risk.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) representing Flybe pilots said they were “appalled” that they had not been kept in the loop regarding the airlines future.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “I am appalled that once again the future of a major UK airline and hundreds of jobs is being discussed in secret with no input from employees or their representatives.
The airline is Europe’s largest regional airlineCredit: PA:Press Association
“According to reports the airline could have collapsed over the weekend which would have been devastating news. This is an appalling state of affairs and we demand that the owners of Flybe – Virgin, Stobart and Cyrus – and the Government departments involved stop hiding and talk to us about Flybe. We have a right to be consulted and the staff have a right to know what is going on.”
A Flybe spokeswoman said: “Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned.
“We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”
A spokesperson for the two Government departments issued the same statement, saying: “We do not comment on speculation or the financial affairs of private companies.”
Flybe flies 8.5 million passengers each year to 170 European destinations.
The Exeter-based firm currently operates a number of domestic routes in the UK.
Passengers have been left fearing for their future flights with the airline.
One woman wrote: “If FlyBe are going bust I really f*****g hope they wait til I’m home from Amsterdam on Wednesday.”
Another person added: “Don’t go bust @flybe. I have about 25 flights booked with you and absolutely can’t afford to replace them.”
Others explained how important the airline was to their region: “Not again, #Flybe. My parents just booked their flights for visiting me in June, and my sister is coming over in March! Flybe is so important as a internal airline, especially for NI.”
What happens if Flybe collapse?
If Flybe were to collapse, thousands of people would be stranded and their flight would be grounded.
Some airlines are ATOL protected, a scheme which protects customers making sure they don’t get left abroad or end up out of pocket.
Flybe is not ATOL protected – meaning travellers would have to pay for their own new flights themselves.
However, passengers are advised to always pay for flights on a credit card as they can then try and claim costs back through consumer protection law Section 75.
You may also be protected if your travel insurance has “travel abandonment” cover, although few providers offer this.
One man was left concerned he could be stranded abroad “with two small children” if the airline went under.
Last February, the airline was bought by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic following poor financial results.
Connect Airways, which consists of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital, paid £2.2 million for Flybe’s assets and operations.
Should Flybe collapse, it would be the second high-profile failure in Britain’s airline and travel industry in less than six months after Thomas Cook went into liquidation last September, stranding tens of thousands of passengers.
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Last summer, hundreds of Flybe passengers were left stranded after flights at Cardiff Airport were cancelled at the last minute.
The airline previously came under fire after passengers accused Flybe of changing their baggage policy, leading to many being charged a £50 fee.
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