Passengers Stranded After British Airline Collapses

Flybe's network included half of UK's domestic flights outside of London
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2020 12:55 AM CST
Struggling British Airline Folds
A Flybe flight departs from Manchester Airport, England, Monday Jan. 13, 2020.   (Pete Byrne/PA via AP)

The struggling British airline Flybe has collapsed, leaving passengers stranded and told to find their own way home. The UK Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement Thursday that financially troubled Flybe had entered administration. It said, "All Flybe flights are cancelled. Please do not go to the airport as your Flybe flight will not be operating. Flybe customers are urged to make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail, or coach operators." Flybe's network included more than half of British domestic flights outside of London. The carrier's collapse came after the British government tried to save it, while fending off allegations from competitors that it had provided state aid to Flybe. The airline said the coronavirus outbreak had "compounded" the challenges it faced.

Flybe has a major presence at airports such as Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester, and Southampton, and flies some 9 million passengers a year to 170 destinations across the continent. Its links to some difficult-to-reach spots in the UK were a strong selling point for the government. "This is a sad day for UK aviation and we know that Flybe's decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its employees and customers," the chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Richard Moriarty, said. Flybe has struggled with a series of issues, including the weakening of the pound in light of Britain's pending departure from the EU, the AP reports. The weaker pound hurts airlines like Flybe that have significant costs in dollars but take in revenue in pounds.

(Read more Flybe stories.)

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