CORONAVIRUS CLAIMS FIRST BRITISH BANKRUPTCY


06/03/2020




Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Flybe, a British regional airline, has gone into bankruptcy blaming coronavirus as one of the reasons for its demise. 2,000 jobs are at risk, after a bid for fresh financial support failed.

All Flybe flights are cancelled. The British civil aviation authority asked ticket holders not to go to the airport as Flybe flight will not be operating.

The firm's failure comes after British tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed in September, with trade unions saying the government should have recused Flybe. The Exeter-based carrier said the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on demand for air travel was partly to blame for its collapse.

In a letter to the airline's staff, chief executive Mark Anderson said: "Despite every effort, we now have no alternative - having failed to find a feasible solution to allow us to keep trading."

In response to the collapse, the UK government said it was ready to help Flybe's workers find new jobs and would work with other airlines to replace services: "We are working closely with industry to minimize any disruption to routes operated by Flybe, including by looking urgently at how routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established by the industry. "

Ryanair has launched "rescue" fares for March and April on five routes following Flybe's collapse. They include flights between Bournemouth and Dublin, Belfast and Stansted and Belfast and Manchester.

Train operators across Britain are also providing free travel to customers and Flybe staff who are unable to travel over the next week, according to the Rail Delivery Group.

Flybe customers who bought tickets directly from the company will not be protected by Atol, the travel industry insurance fund. However, if you bought through a travel agent or other third party you might be covered. Some people might be able to get their money back if they paid by credit card or with some debit cards.


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