Passengers with Flybe are being warned not to go to the airport today after the regional airline fell into administration again - just three months after it resumed flying to Cornwall.
It had returned to the skies under new ownership, after the previous airline under the Flybe name collapsed in March 2020 with the loss of 2,400 jobs, as the Covid-19 pandemic destroyed large parts of the travel market.
At the time of its return it said it wanted to promote travel in a "responsible and sustainable way.” It began flying in April 2022, with routes to and from Cornwall added on October 30.
However, today (Saturday, January 28) the airline confirmed that the High Court had appointed David Pike and Mike Pink as Joint Administrators of Flybe Limited (“Flybe”).
On 28 Jan 23 David Pike & Mike Pink were appointed Joint Administrators of Flybe Limited. Flybe has now ceased trading. All Flybe flights from & to the UK are cancelled & will not be rescheduled. Further information can be found @ https://t.co/VbCQW2SmGn & https://t.co/bcNJz3Cthq pic.twitter.com/DhLb8UhwXk
— Flybe ✈ (@flybe) January 28, 2023
In a statement on its website the airline said: “Flybe has now ceased trading and all flights from and to the UK operated by Flybe have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
“If you are a passenger affected by this event, please read the advice below.
“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.”
Customers needing any further information or assistance can contact the administrators at email@example.com
Flybe resumed flights to and from Cornwall Airport Newquay at the end of October last year, offering twice daily (Monday to Friday) flights to London Heathrow - with a daily service at weekends - as well as a daily link to Manchester.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority said Flybe customers who still need to travel will need to make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.
It added that it would be providing advice and information to affected passengers. More information can be found on Flybe.com and caa.co.uk/news when it is available. Information will also be made available on its Twitter feed @UK_CAA .
Paul Smith, consumer director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe's decision to stop trading will be distressing for all of its employees and customers.
“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.”
Advice for customers
If you booked directly with Flybe and paid by credit card you may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and should contact your card issuer for further information. Similarly, if you paid by debit or charge card you should contact your card issuer for advice as you may be able to make a claim under their charge back rules.
If you purchased travel insurance that includes cover for scheduled airline failure, known as SAFI, you should contact your insurer. If you did not book directly with Flybe and purchased your tickets through a third party, you should contact your booking or travel agent in the first instance.
Negative response letter
Passengers who booked directly with the company via either a credit, charge or debit card may alternatively be able to make a claim through their card provider. Some card providers will ask for a negative response letter confirming the position. Passengers may also be able to make a claim against their travel insurer.
The negative response letter will be published shortly with the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Direct booking with an airline
If you paid the airline directly by credit card you might be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. You should check with your card issuer for further advice. You may have similar cover if you paid by Visa debit card and should check with your bank.
Booked through an Airline Ticket Agent
If you booked your ticket through an airline ticket agent you should speak to the agent in the first instance; they may have provided travel insurance that includes Scheduled Airline Failure cover.
Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI)
Some airlines and airline ticket agents will offer customers either a specific Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) policy or include similar protection within a broader travel insurance product. The type of protection provided may vary depending on the type of policy taken out. A policy may simply cover the cost of the original tickets purchased or any unused portion, or the additional cost of purchasing new flights, such as new tickets for travel back to the UK.
The business and assets were purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.
Thyme Opco was renamed Flybe Limited, which had been based at Birmingham Airport.
The Government said that its “immediate priority” would be to support anyone trying to get home and those who have lost their jobs.
A spokesperson said: “This remains a challenging environment for airlines, both old and new, as they recover from the pandemic, and we understand the impact this will have on Flybe’s passengers and staff.
“Our immediate priority is to support people travelling home and employees who have lost their jobs.”
They went on to add: “We recognise that this is an uncertain time for affected employees and their families.
“Jobcentre Plus, through its Rapid Response Service, stands ready to support any employee affected.”