Flybe tight-lipped over collapse threat

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Flybe

Low-cost airline Flybe has declined to comment on media reports that it is in crisis talks in a bid to put together a rescue deal.

According to Sky News, Flybe, which has already been bailed out once, has been struggling to secure fresh finance.

But the airline said: “We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”

It said it was focusing on “providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned”.

The reports come a year after Flybe was bought for £2.2m by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group.

Since then, the consortium has invested tens of millions of pounds in the troubled carrier, but losses have continued to mount.

Based in Exeter, Flybe carries about eight million passengers a year from airports such as Southampton, Cardiff and Aberdeen, to the UK and Europe.

Its network of routes includes more than half of UK domestic flights outside London.

If the business collapses, more than 2,000 jobs are likely to go.

The report on Sky News said EY had been lined up as administrators if Flybe were to go under.

The BBC has approached EY for comment.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa, said: “I am appalled that once again the future of a major UK airline and hundreds of jobs is being discussed in secret with no input from employees or their representatives.

“According to reports, the airline could have collapsed over the weekend, which would have been devastating news.”

Mr Strutton called on Flybe’s owners and the government to talk to the union, saying staff had a right to know what was going on.

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