Flybe enters administration

Thu, 05 Mar 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

UK airline Flybe has gone into administration after it failed to secure financial support amid impact on air travel demand from the coronavirus outbreak.

Alan Hudson, Joanne Robinson, Simon Edel and Lucy Winterborne of the restructuring team at EY have been appointed as joint administrators of the company, with their priorities to support employees and liaise with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to advise customers.

Passengers are advised not to travel to their airport, unless they have booked alternative arrangements.

Flybe is headquarted in Essex and flies from many UK regional airports, operating almost 40 per cent of UK domestic flights. It is Europe’s largest independent regional airline, carrying around 8 million passengers per year from 81 airports in the UK and EU, operating 210 routes in 15 countries.

The company employed around 2,400 staff across the UK. According to its most recent accounts, for the year ending 31 March 2018, the group reported revenue of £752.6 million, with EBITDAR of £140 million and reported loss before tax of £9.4 million.

According to those accounts, the company held net assets worth £93.1 million, including property, plant, equipment and intangibles, as well as a fleet of 80 aircraft, of which 27 were owned and 53 held on operating lease.

Flybe is owned by Connect Airways, a consortium comprised of Cyrus Capital (40 per cent), Virgin Atlantic (30 per cent) and Stobart Group (30 per cent). The consortium received EU merger clearance to take control of Flybe’s assets in July 2019.

The new owners said they would invest £30 million to keep the business afloat in January of this year, but a proposed £100 million Government rescue deal was met with a backlash from rivals.

Joint administrator Alan Hudson said: "Despite an agreement with the government to provide assistance to the Company, added pressures on the travel industry in the last few weeks have further deepened the severity of its financial situation. Flybe had already been impacted by rising fuel costs, currency volatility, and market uncertainty."

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