Flybe, the UK-based airline, entered administration on 5 March, putting more than 2,000 jobs at risk of redundancy. Staff employed at regional airports, such as Southampton and Exeter and Belfast, which are served primarily by Flybe, are also likely to be affected.
Flybe’s chief executive said that they had been unable to overcome funding challenges and that the coronavirus outbreak has added further pressure on the company. The airline was taken over in 2019 by Connect Airways – a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and the hedge fund Cyrus Capital but continued to operate at a loss.
The administrators at EY also said in their statement that the coronavirus outbreak had deepened Flybe’s financial problems.
Representatives of Unite the Union and the British Airline Pilots’ Association referred to the responsibility of the government in not supporting Flybe amid the uncertainties caused by Brexit and the coronavirus.
Flybe was founded over 40 years ago and it is Europe’s largest regional airline. It is the third major British airline to have gone bankrupt in recent years, after Monarch and Thomas Cook.