FLYBE has been saved from collapse after the government agreed a £100m bailout which will allow the airline to keep operating.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said she was “delighted” with the agreement, which came after rescue talks over the weekend.
2,400 jobs had been at stake as the government held crisis talks with the airline as it stood on the brink of going bust.
The deal means Flybe has avoided being the second UK airline to fail in four months, after Thomas Cook went bust in September.
The plan involves Flybe deferring this year’s estimated air passenger duty (APD) bill of £106 million for three years.
The deal is understood to be conditional on Flybe’s shareholders pumping tens of millions of pounds more into the loss-making carrier.
Ms Leadsom tweeted this evening: “Delighted that we have reached agreement with Flybe’s shareholders to keep the company operating, ensuring that U.K. regions remain connected.
“This will be welcome news for Flybe’s staff, customers and creditors and we will continue the hard work to ensure a sustainable future.”
The airline began as Jersey European Airways in 1979, operating regional flights from Jersey.
Its route network grew and it was rebranded British European in 2000, before becoming Flybe in 2002.
Flybe is now Europe’s largest regional carrier, flying around nine million passengers a year to 170 destinations across the continent.
Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital bought Flybe in February 2019 for just £2.2m following poor financial results.
The group, known as Connect Airways, pledged to inject cash into the airline to turn it around.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also welcomed the agreement.
He said: “Delighted we’ve been able to work closely with Flybe to ensure Europe’s largest regional airline is able to continue connecting communities across Britain.
“@transportgovuk will undertake an urgent review into how we can level up the country by strengthening regional connectivity.”
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