Grounded: Flybe have gone into adminstration for the second time

By Harry Mottram: Three yeas ago this month Flybe warned of redundancies at its Exeter headquarters. Just two months later it collapsed as a business leaving customers, suppliers and the Devon airport in the lurch as it owed an eye-watering £650 million pounds. Now it has happened again under the new owners Thyme Opco, a firm linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital and subsequently renamed Flybe Limited.

The airline now based at Birmingham announced it had ceased trading this morning catching hundreds of their customers off guard as unsuspecting travellers arrived to find their flights cancelled.

Paul Smith of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to go to the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled. For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s website or our Twitter feed for more information.”

Flybe released this statement: “If you are due to fly with Flybe today or in the future, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.

“If you have a Flybe booking sold by an intermediary (i.e. not directly with Flybe) that includes travel on a Flybe flight, please contact the relevant airline or booking / travel agent to confirm if there is any impact to your travel plans as the intermediary may be able to support you with alternative arrangements and provide further advice regarding any claim you may need to make.”

David John Pike and Michael Robert Pink were appointed by the High Court on 28 January 2023 as Joint Administrators to help manage the affairs, business and property of Flybe Limited, in accordance with the powers and duties contained in the order appointing them. The Joint Administrators act as agents of the Company, without personal liability.

Flybe were back in business as an airline after the acquisition by Thyme Opco in April of last year with flights from Belfast City, Birmingham, and Heathrow to airports across the UK as well as to Amsterdam and Geneva.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM whose membership includes many suppliers and customers of Flybe said this was a devastating blow for all concerned as for the second time millions of pounds will be lost. He said: “The last time they went bust the amount of debt was horrific. Administrators Ernst & Young said in their report the figure could rise to as high as £789 with the staff and pension contributions owed more than £3 million pounds. They also said that unsecured creditors would be unlikely to be paid – so it was a financial mess.”

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