UK Regional Airline Flybe on Brink of Collapse

British regional airline Flybe is on the brink of collapse amidst severe financial troubles, although airline bosses vowed that flight operations are continuing as normal.

Financial troubles

According to several reports in the British media, British regional airline company Flybe is in danger of collapse due to mounting losses. The airline, which has already been bailed out over a year ago by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic, is reportedly in need of another cash injection to stave of bankruptcy. This time, the British government is involved as well, with the Department for Transport researching whether or not the government can lend a helping hand to the struggling airline company.


Flybe, which employs well over 2,000 people, has around 75 aeroplanes and serves some 80 destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe, making it Europe’s largest regional airline. With airport bases in places like Exeter, Devon, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, it is a key transport link for thousands of people who live in more faraway areas of the country without the benefits of easy access to the main London airports. Local authorities which are dependent on the airline company, such as the local government of the Isle of Man, are also said to be watching the situation closely. Currently, airline operations are continuing as planned.

Internal email

In an internal email to company employees, Flybe CEO Mark Anderson said that company bosses are fully committed turning the airline finances around and making a success story out of it. Anderson said: “All my energy, and that of our Leadership Team, is very focused on continuing to turn Flybe, soon to be Virgin Connect, around and deliver the heartfelt service that our customers expect.

“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.”

Virgin Connect

Flybe, a famous airline brand across Britain and neighbouring countries, is currently being rebranded to Virgin Connect as part of the earlier bailout and restructuring deal with Virgin Atlantic.

A previous airline statement read: “In 2020 Flybe will become Virgin Connect, your new go-to name in regional flying. As Flybe, we have been connecting passengers across the UK and Europe for 40 years and as we embark on an ambitious transformation, Virgin Connect will continue our work as Europe’s Largest Regional Airline.”

flybe plane collapse financial difficulties
A Flybe aeroplane at Amsterdam Airport. ©Paliparan

Difficult times

If it would collapse, Flybe would be yet another high-profile name to be added to the list of now defunct airlines. Last year, travel agency and airline company Thomas Cook collapsed after a last-ditch rescue effort failed. Other major airlines to have collapsed in recent years are Iceland’s WOW Air, Germany’s Air Berlin, France’s Aigle Azur and Jet Airways from India.

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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