Rescue deal agreed for Exeter-based airline Flybe

PUBLISHED: 09:43 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:40 14 January 2019

Flybe

Flybe

© Theo Moye. All Rights Reserved

A rescue deal has been agreed for troubled airline Flybe by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic.

A rescue deal has been agreed for troubled airline Flybe by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic.

The deal, widely reported as £2.2million, has seen the consortium, which also features venture capital brand Cyrus and Stobart Group, commit to providing a £20 million loan to support The Exeter-based airline’s ongoing operational costs. A further £80million injection into the airline has also been planned.

Christine Ourmieres-Widener, Flybe’s CEO said: “Flybe plays a vital role in the UK’s transport infrastructure with a UK regional network, which uniquely positions it to benefit from growing demands from long-haul carriers for passenger feeder traffic.

“We have successfully implemented a clear strategy in recent years focused on tighter fleet management, improving revenue per seat and increasing load factors.

“The pursuit of operational excellence has reduced maintenance times and increased efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

“However, the industry is suffering from higher fuel costs, currency fluctuations and significant uncertainties presented by Brexit.

“We have been affected by all of these factors, which has put pressure on short-term financial performance.

“At the same time, Flybe suffered from a number of legacy issues that are being addressed but are still adversely affecting cashflows. By combining to form a larger, stronger, group, we will be better placed to withstand these pressures. We aim to provide an even better service to our customers and secure the future for our people.”

Councillor Ian Thomas, leader of East Devon District Council, added: “I welcome this latest development towards confirming future ownership of Flybe.

“The airline is the largest private sector employer in the district, a major direct and indirect contributor to our economy.

“As a local authority, we look forward to quickly establishing a productive working relationship with the new owners.

“With our partners, we will work with them to help create the conditions for both the airline and Exeter Airport to flourish.

“This will help secure high value employment locally, as well as enhancing the role of the airport as a major gateway to the surrounding area.”

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