It all ended at 3.0am this morning GMT when one of the UK’s oldest regional carriers, Flybe, collapsed into administration, citing ‘additional pressure’ caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
An announcement by the company said that all Flybe flights were immediately grounded and chief executive Mark Anderson advised all passengers not to travel to airports unless alternative flight arrangements had been made.
Some passengers reported being kicked off planes after hours waiting on the tarmac for take-off as staff were informed of the collapse.
Accountancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) has been appointed as administrators to the airline that carried about eight million passengers a year between 56 airports in the UK and Europe over 40 years.
Some 2,400 people had been employed by the company which had narrowly avoided going bankrupt in January but continued to lose money since then. The company cited a drop in demand caused by the coronavirus which ‘made a difficult situation worse’.
In a statement, chief executive Mark Anderson said the company had made ‘every possible attempt’ to avoid collapse but had been ‘unable to overcome significant funding challenges’.