FlyBe 'at risk of collapse' as airline holds talks with government

Flybe aircraft

The airline carries about eight million passengers a year from airports such as Southampton, Cardiff and Aberdeen, to the United Kingdom and Europe.

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, is at risk of collapse, according to a United Kingdom media report.

Graham Stringer, Labour MP and a former member of the commons Transport Committee, said: 'These routes that Flybe operate are absolutely vital for a number of communities that are remote from the rest of the United Kingdom like the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and parts of the South West. However, the airline appears to be in trouble once more.

News that Flybe airline is on "the brink of collapse" could put in jeopardy connecting flights announced by City of Derry Airport last November.

Having a large domestic network can have a huge downside for airlines like Flybe, and that is Air Passenger Duty.

For Stobart the deal represented an opportunity to get more passengers to fly from Southend Airport, which it owns.

Flybe said: "We don't comment on rumour or speculation".

Last year, the government refused a request from Thomas Cook for £150m in emergency funding.

Flybe is reportedly in urgent talks with the UK Government.

Union GMB said up to 2,000 direct jobs and 1,400 supply chain posts will be lost if it goes under, 150 of which are based in Belfast.

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".

If Flybe fails to secure financing, it could prompt the second collapse of a major airline in the United Kingdom in less than six months. 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.

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