Flybe saved by U.K. government, flights continue as scheduled

Jan 15, 2020

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On Tuesday night, the uncertainty about the future of Flybe was cleared up by way of a bailout from the U.K. government. The airline narrowly avoid being the second U.K. carrier to go bust within only a few months. Flybe is Europe’s largest regional carrier, operating an extensive route network within the U.K. and to destinations across Europe.

Ministers have agreed to a rescue deal with the airline, but the details of such have yet to be confirmed. The ongoing negotiations consist of the possibility of a loan of around £100 million from the U.K. government.

The airline announced the news in a tweet on Tuesday night.

While the decision to save the airline has ultimately saved thousands of jobs and safeguarded regional connections across Europe, there has been significant backlash from Ryanair, EasyJet and airline group IAG — the parent company of British Airways — regarding the use of taxpayer money. Chief Executive of IAG Willie Walsh reportedly accused Virgin Atlantic, which recently acquired Flybe, of “wanting the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their mismanagement of the airline”.

Related reading: A review of Flybe’s Dash 8 from Heathrow to Aberdeen

The loan could come under further scrutiny by the EU commission for breaching state aid. In a similar case, however, loans were approved by the German government to save Condor in light of the failure of its parent company, Thomas Cook Group.

Mark Anderson, Flybe CEO, said in statement, “Flybe is made up of an incredible team of people, serving millions of loyal customers who rely on the vital regional connectivity that we provide. This is a positive outcome for the UK and will allow us to focus on delivering for our customers and planning for the future.”

Featured image by Sopa Images/Getty Images

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