Flybe collapse: Government reveals airline’s financial woes ‘pre-date coronavirus’

A new tweet from the Department for Transport has revealed that coronavirus was not the reason for airline’s demise. A Government spokesperson said: “Following a commercial decision by the company, Flybe has ceased trading.

“We recognise the impact this will have on Flybe’s passengers and staff.

“Government staff will be on hand at all affected UK airports to help passengers.

“The vast majority of Flybe routes are served by different transport options, and we have asked bus and train operators to accept Flybe tickets and other airlines to offer reduced rescue fares to ensure passengers can make their journeys as smoothly as possible.

“We know this will be a worrying time for Flybe staff and our Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service stands ready to help them find a new job as soon as possible.

“We are working closely with industry to minimise any disruption to routes operated by Flybe, including by looking urgently at how routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established by the industry.

“Through the reviews of regional connectivity and Airport Passenger Duty we have announced, we will bring forward recommendations to help ensure that the whole of the UK as the connections in place that people rely on.

“Flybe’s financial difficulties were long-standing and well documented and pre-date the outbreak of COVID-19.

“We are well prepared for a potential outbreak and this week we have set out an action plan with details of our response.”

However, earlier today, Flybe boss Mark Anderson reportedly said that it was due to the Coronavirus causing “additional pressure”.

An email from Mr Anderson which was seen by Sky News informed staff of the news just after 12.30am (GMT).

The letter read: “It’s with enormous sadness and a deep feeling of sorrow that I share the upsetting news that Flybe is shortly being put into administration.

“Despite every effort, we now have no alternative – having failed to find a feasible solution to allow us to keep trading.

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“While our shareholders and the leadership team have worked with the government and key suppliers to try to get the funding and support needed, this has not materialised.

“The coronavirus has impacted both our shareholders and ourselves and has put additional pressure on an already difficult situation.

“I am very sorry that we have not been able to secure the funding needed to continue to deliver our turnaround plan.”

The UK Civil Aviation Authority tweeted: “Flybe has entered administration.

“All Flybe flights are cancelled.

“Please do not go to the airport as your Flybe flight will not be operating.

“For flights operated by franchise partners, passengers should make contact with their airline.”

The shock announcement has sparked chaos for passengers who were due to fly as flights were cancelled and diverted and planes impounded.

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