This morning it was announced that Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, is no longer operating. The news will impact the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers, all of which should monitor the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website for further information. Below, you'll also find answers to core questions like what does it mean for passengers with trips booked or those needing flights home?
Flybe went into administration on 5 March 2020. As such, all flights have been grounded, and the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect.
The announcement follows the company running into financial difficulties last year before being bought by a consortium that includes Virgin Atlantic. These problems escalated in January, Flybe appealed to the Government for additional support. Despite agreeing on a rescue deal, the company failed to secure a £100m government loan alongside changes to Air Passenger Duty taxes.
When Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook collapsed, the CAA was ordered by the Department for Transport to launch a major repatriation operation to fly them home. However, it is not yet clear whether the Government would order widespread repatriation of stranded Flybe passengers.
In the meantime, the CAA has urged customers not to travel to the airport if they were due to travel with Flybe, and are encouraged to make alternative arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.
The few Flybe passengers that booked a trip that includes both flights and hotels, and holds an ATOL, should get in touch with the travel agent they booked through as they are responsible for organising alternative arrangments.
ATOL protected passengers are eligible for a full refund, should they not want to continue their package holiday via an alternative airline or mode of transport.
If you do not have an ATOL certificate, but booked directly on the Flybe website and paid by credit card, you may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and should contact your card issuer for further information. Similarly, if you paid by debit or charge card you should contact your card issuer for advice as you may be able to claim under their chargeback rules.
If you purchased travel insurance that includes cover for scheduled airline failure, known as SAFI, you should contact the insurance company. The type of protection provided may vary depending on the type of policy taken out, but it could cover the cost of the original tickets purchased or any unused portion, or the additional cost of purchasing new flights, such as new tickets for travel back to the UK.
If you have any questions about the collapse of Flybe or require any further information or assistance, please contact the Administrators by phone on 0207 951 7801 or by email at [email protected]