Flybe has informed the government that its fragile financial state means it may not survive amid the current fall in air travel demand. The British airline based in Exeter is requesting a taxpayer loan of £100 million (€115 million) over the coming days — or it may collapse before the end of the month.
In February 2019, the airline was sold to the Connect Airways consortium, backed by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Aviation. Connect Airways intends Flybe and Stobart Air to subsequently rebrand as Virgin Connect.
On Flybe’s financial situation, Professor Loizos Heracleous, an aviation industry expert from Warwick Business School said:
“The rescue deal for Flybe always looked like a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution. It was only a matter of time before it ran into trouble again, as it did last year.
“The drop in passengers due to coronavirus has merely accelerated that process.
“Flybe is operating in a fiercely competitive environment and could only become sustainable with significant changes to its business model.”