Hundreds of passengers throughout Europe have been stranded by the abrupt collapse of a British regional airline. British Midland Regional Limited, which operates as Flybmi, said it is filing for administration—a British version of bankruptcy—because of higher fuel costs and uncertainty caused by Britain's upcoming departure from the European Union, the AP reports. "Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and a lack of confidence around bmi's ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe," the airline said.
The airline operated 17 jets on routes to 25 European cities. It employed 376 people in Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Belgium and says it carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights last year. Pilots union chief Brian Strutton said the airline's collapse came with no warning and "is devastating news for all employees." Flybmi said all flights will be canceled and advised passengers to seek refunds from credit card issuers, travel agents, or travel insurance companies. The collapse will have a major impact on the Northern Ireland city of Derry, which will lose its only air connection to London. Flybmi was still seeking customers up until the day before its collapse, urging people in a tweet to book flights to Germany for a winter sports holiday.
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