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  1. 'Significant impact' on Devon economy if Flybe collapses

    Johanna Carr

    BBC News Online

    The collapse of airline Flybe would have a "significant impact" on Devon's economy, three of the county's councils have said in a joint statement.

    Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership issued the statement which acknowledged "the rumours circulating today regarding the future of the airline Flybe".

    They said: "As one of our largest private sector employers we are fully committed to working with the company to help support it through this difficult period.

    "Alongside being a major employer the company plays a key role in helping to provide regional connectivity across the UK and in to Europe."

  2. Collapse of Flybe would be 'significant' for UK airports

    BBC News

    The collapse of regional airline Flybe would have a "significant impact" on several UK airports, an industry expert has warned.

    Aviation consultant John Strickland told the PA news agency that airports such as Exeter and Southampton rely on the carrier for a large chunk of their business.

    Flybe bosses have been engaged in talks with the government in a bid to save the airline.

    Mr Strickland said the failure of Flybe would have "a significant impact in certain communities".

    He said: "At a market level it doesn't look like very much.

    "But if you look at the regions Flybe serves, it's dramatic."

    Flybe plane

    Flybe operates most domestic routes between airports outside London, including connections between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Mr Strickland believes there is unlikely to be "a political will to get involved" in offering financial support to the carrier, as no taxpayers' money was given to stop Thomas Cook or Monarch from collapsing.

    He added that regional aviation is "a difficult sector" due to a series of issues, including competition from road and rail transport, Air Passenger Duty and rising fuel costs.

    A Flybe spokeswoman said: "Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned.

    "We don't comment on rumour or speculation."

    Flybe is Europe's largest regional carrier, flying about eight million passengers a year to 170 destinations across the continent.

  3. Flybe's 'scaling down' so far

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    Flybe plane

    The airline announced in April 2019 that it would be cutting flights from Exeter, Norwich, Cardiff and Doncaster.

    In September 2019, Flybe said it would be scaling down its Isle of Man operations, closing its base at the island's airport and handing full control to partner Stobart Air.

    Flights from the island are currently due to be operated and crewed by staff from Stobart Air from March.

    The changes would have "no impact on customers", a Flybe spokesman said.

  4. 'Business as usual' for Blue Islands airline

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    Quote Message: It is business as usual for us and for Flybe. As an independent, locally owned airline, Blue Islands remains fully committed to serving the Channel Islands and customers can continue to book all Blue Islands operated services at flybe.com." from Blue Islands spokesperson
    Blue Islands spokesperson
  5. 'The last thing we need is an airline to go under'

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    The national officer of the GMB union says the "last thing we need is an airline to go under" at a time when the economy is "tanking".

    Nadine Houghton said 1,400 supply chain jobs could be lost - as well as jobs of direct employees - if speculation that airline, Flybe is in crisis talks to rescue it proves to be true.

    She said Flybe "provides a vital public service in some parts of the country".

    "If government is serious about infrastructure investment in the regions, it must step in and protect what already exists," she said.

    GMB said its members working for Swissport provide ground services for Flybe at Liverpool, East Midlands, Edinburgh and Jersey airports.

    Regarding the speculation, Flybe, the UK's biggest regional carrier, said: "We don't comment on rumour or speculation."

    Flybe
  6. Flybe a 'major part of life in Devon' says local MP

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    The MP for East Devon, Simon Jupp says he has been in touch with Flybe after rumours about the airline collapsing have been reported.

    “I have spoken with Flybe and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy," he said.

    "Flybe is a major part of life in Devon, providing vital jobs and transport which I will always stand up for.

    "Flybe continues to operate as usual.”

    Simon Jupp

    The Exeter-based airline said it "continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned".

    "We don’t comment on rumour or speculation," it said.

  7. Flybe announced a re-brand after 2019 buy-out

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    Graphic of flybe airplane

    In February the airline was sold for £2.8m to a consortium of operators called Connect Airways, which was led by Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic.

    The name change was set to be accompanied by a re-branding, in which the purple planes would be repainted red.

    Mr Anderson said the company would be focused on becoming "Europe's most loved and successful regional airline".

  8. Flybe collapse would be 'major blow' to Channel Islands

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    The loss of Flybe would be a "major blow" for the Channel Islands, said Robert Mackenzie of the Channel Islands Tour Operators Group.

    It's in response to comments made by Senator Lyndon Farnham who suggested flights to the UK would be quickly taken over by alternative airlines if Flybe collapsed.

    "We're lucky enough to be served by a number of other large and small airlines. Although there would be short-term disruption, I would think most of the key routes would be taken up by other airlines fairly quickly", he said.

    View more on twitter

    In Guernsey, the Committee for Economic Development said it had been in contact with Flybe, and has "a long standing meeting scheduled with CEO Mark Anderson for next week".

  9. 'It would make things very awkward'

    Chris Quevatre

    BBC News Online

    Flybe plane

    Richard Hutchinson and Russell Milsom both work in telecoms and are frequent flyers out of Exeter and Newquay with Flybe.

    At Exeter airport today, having heard the news of crisis talks involving Flybe, Mr Hutchinson said: "It’s devastating really. Obviously it would be great if they could keep the routes going between the hubs around the country.

    "It’s a vital part of what we do for a living, and for the Cornish economy I would suggest."

    Mr Milsom said: "Flybe collapsing would make things very awkward for work - travelling to London.

    "We’re flying to Manchester today, but travelling to London and Manchester is vital for what we do.

    "Not only that, but we live in Newquay, a seaside town that links in to the whole of Cornwall. For the tourism industry, it’s really bad news if it’s true."

  10. Flybe boss asks staff 'to work and support each other'

    Flybe boss Mark Anderson has sent an email to all staff asking them to "work and support each other as a team".

    Mr Anderson said in the email: "I do appreciate that the headlines some of you have already read are disturbing but I want you to know that we are determined to do everything we can to make this work."

    The Exeter-based airline employs more than 2,000 people.

    View more on twitter
  11. Flybe was 'too big' for buy-out to work

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    Air transport expert John Strickland has said the size of Flybe's fleet was too large for its buyers to make a success.

    Speaking to the BBC he said: "My observation is that it's a very large airline with over 80 planes. It's actually probably too big individually for either of the needs of the two airline groups."

    Mr Strickland said that Stobart already ran a lot of regional flights, whilst Virgin wanted to feed passengers into Heathrow and Manchester for its long-haul flights.

    "Neither needs 80 aircraft to do that", he said.

  12. Flybe crisis: Newquay residents respond to news

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Flybe is the main operator from Cornwall Newquay Airport and there's a fear there would be a major impact locally if it was to collapse.

    Flybe has declined to comment on media reports that the airline is in crisis talks in an attempt to put together a rescue deal.

    So what do people in Newquay think about the news?

    Newquay resident
    Quote Message: I’m due to go up on Friday to Leeds with Flybe. I’ll find it very difficult if it collapsed. I go and see my family and they come and see me. Its a lot easier than driving so I’d be absolutely gutted. I’m hoping it can be kept running. from Booked flight with Flybe for later this week
    Booked flight with Flybe for later this week
    Newquay resident
    Quote Message: I’ve booked a flight for March – I better go home and check that! It’s not really good is it? We’re a seaside town reliant on tourism obviously. It’s really bad. It’s a bit worrying actually. from Set to fly with Flybe in March
    Set to fly with Flybe in March
    Newquay resident
    Quote Message: I think it’s an essential thing for Newquay because Newquay is a very difficult place to get to - from one end of the country to here. I know lots of people that fly to Newquay a lot from Gatwick. It’s going to have some impact, without a doubt. from Knows lots of people who fly to Newquay
    Knows lots of people who fly to Newquay
    Newquay resident
    Quote Message: I think from Newquay and a tourist perspective, it could be crucial to the businesses and the tourist industry in Newquay. I use Newquay Airport where possible and Flybe has been one of the airlines I would use. from Thinks the tourist industry in Newquay will suffer
    Thinks the tourist industry in Newquay will suffer
  13. Flybe has its origins in the Channel Islands

    The airline, which is reported to be in talks about its future, is Britain's biggest regional airline.

    The origin of Flybe is the 1979 merger of Intra Airways in Jersey and Bournemouth-based Express Air Services to create Jersey European Airways (JEA).

    Intra was set up by four former pilots in 1969 to operate passenger and cargo charters from the Channel Islands to the UK and Express was set up in 1975 to use Douglas DC3s to fly produce, flowers and freight between the Channel Islands and the UK.

    Walker Aviation Group, based in Lancashire, already owned airline Spacegrand when it bought JEA in 1983.

    They were amalgamated in 1985 and the firm's headquarters moved to Exeter, where it remains and maintenance operations followed four years later.

    The airline expanded its network in the 1990s, including work with Air France, and added jets to its fleets before being renamed British European in 2000.

    Two years later it was again rebranded - this time as budget airline Flybe.

    British European plane being boarded at Charles De Gaulle airport, Paris, in August 2001
  14. Second union comments on 'troubling' Flybe reports

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    The Prospect union has said reports Exeter-based airline Flybe is in crisis talks over a collapse threat are "very troubling".

    Its national secretary, Tony Bell, said speculation will "cause yet more worry for Prospect members at Flybe less than a year after the company was taken over with the promise of additional funding".

    He said: "As the main union at Flybe, Prospect will seek immediate talks with the company to clarify the situation.

    "Flybe provides much-needed connectivity to many of our smaller and regional airports.

    "It is important that that connectivity, and the skilled jobs it implies, is maintained."

    flybe plane
  15. Flybe crisis could 'be a disaster' for Northern Ireland economy

    Regular users of Flybe have said a loss of services would have a damaging effect on Northern Ireland.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Other Twitter users have also said Flybe provides a "crucial link" to Ireland.

    View more on twitter
  16. Flybe talks: More than 2,000 jobs at risk

    The airline, which is reported to be in crisis talks, employs more than 2,000 people across the UK.

    Flybe in 2018. [ 9.5m Passengers carried ],[ 174 Routes ] [ 2,346 Employees ],[ 80 Planes ],[ 79.5% Punctuality within 15 minutes of flight ], Source: Source: Flight Group 2018 annual report, Image: Flybe plane
  17. Flybe trending on Twitter amid crisis speculation

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    Flybe is starting to trend on Twitter as reports continue that the Exeter-based airline is trying to secure a rescue deal.

    Late Sunday night, Flybe itself tweeted that it would not comment on rumour or speculation.

    Twitter trends
    View more on twitter
  18. Airline has not posted a profit since 2014

    According to Flybe's information held at Companies House the airline has not made a pre or post-tax profit since 2014.

    In 2018 it made an after-tax loss of £12.5m despite carrying 9.5 million passengers on its network.

    Graph
    Graph
  19. Flybe: Flights 'operating as normal' at Newquay airport

    Hayley Westcott

    BBC News Online

    As speculation grows regarding reports that airline Flybe is trying to secure emergency funding to prevent its collapse, Cornwall Airport Newquay says it is "operating as normal".

    Flybe is the main operator from the Cornish airport and there could be a big impact locally if the airline was to fail.

    It is also Europe's largest regional airline carrying a total of eight million people a year.

    Flybe plane
    Quote Message: We cannot comment on the media speculation regarding Flybe. We can reassure our passengers that it is business as usual and flights to and from Cornwall Airport Newquay are operating as normal. from Cornwall Airport Newquay Spokesperson
    Cornwall Airport NewquaySpokesperson