Tue, 10 Mar 2020. Last updated Tue, 10 Mar 2020 22:22
In the early morning March 05 (local time), The Civil Aviation Authority announced the collapse of Flybe, the largest airline in Europe. All Flybe flights are cancelled and the airline’s representatives informed that only when there are alternative flights, then passengers can go to the airport.
It is estimated that over 2 thousands people are unemployed because of the bankruptcy. Staff and customers of Flybe are supported to travel free by train’s routes of Great Western Railway, South WWestern Railway, Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast. EasyJet air carrier suggested to “rescue” passengers of Flybe and provide free flights to take Flybe staff home.
Annually, there are about 8 million passengers using the services of Flybe. Facing the collapse of the airline, it is concerned that transportation is suspended due to cancellations of dozens domestic flights, and Flybe is the only airline operating the routes. Previously, Flybe operated nearly 40% domestic flights in the UK and at 57 airports in Europe.
Mark Anderson, General Director of Flybe said that the airline company tried its best to avoid bankruptcy. However, they could not overcome the difficulty. The EY audit firm had mentioned Covid-19 in their report, and confirmed that this was one of the factors making the financial issues of Flybe worse and worse. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, Flybe had to struggle with the increase of fuel price, demands and competition with other airlines.
A long time ago, the airline had troubles on financial balancing, and announced that they had a loss of around £ 20 million ($ 26 million) per year before Connect Airways took over. However, after a year purchasing, Connect could not cope with the situation. In January, the government of the U.K promised to rescue but their methods were not strong enough to recover Flybe.
The British Aviation Pilots Association has criticized the government. The Union’s General Secretary, Brain Strutton said: “Six weeks ago, when the airline lost hope, the government promised about a relief package. At that time, it is clear that you recognized the contribution of Flybe to the regional economy. During the time, pilots, cabin crew, and ground staff had completed their duties successfully. While, behind the scene, sadly, the government turned their back. The employees feel being cheated on this promise”.
The Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps shared on his own personal page about the collapse of Flybe after 40 year serving passengers. He said that the government took action immediately with the aviation industry to define which are the main routes that other airlines can operate in the shortest time.