REGIONAL carrier Flybe has ceased trading and all scheduled flights have been cancelled.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) made the announcement the company had gone into administration and urged those with booked Flybe flights not to travel to airports.
Three early Flybe flights from Belfast, two from Birmingham and two from Amsterdam were all showing as ‘scheduled on time’ on Flybe’s online flight status live tracker at 5am.
But the CAA urged ticket-holders to instead check its website for the latest information.
On Flybe’s website a statement reads: “Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.”
Usually, the CAA steps in to help stranded passengers.
However, when approached by The Sun a spokesperson said: “Flybe customers who still need to travel, will need to make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.”
Fuming customers have been flocking to social media to try and figure out their next steps.
One wrote: “Stranded in Geneva now, due to fly tomorrow morning. Spent my last euro at aprés, what do I do now?”
Another added: “Stranded at Heathrow after we were told we’d been rebooked on a new flight this morning!”
A third fumed: “My daughter due to fly back to university today.
“You allowed me to book extras yesterday and take my money. The second time this has happened. What utter, utter scumbags.”
CAA consumer director Paul Smith said: “It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be distressing for all of its employees and customers.
“We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to go to the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled. For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s website or our Twitter feed for more information.”
The airline also confirmed the “sad” move, noting that administrators had been brought in.
“We are sad to announce that Flybe has been placed into administration,” Flybe tweeted.
“David Pike and Mike Pink of Interpath have been appointed administrators. Flybe has now ceased trading. All Flybe flights from and to the UK are cancelled and will not be rescheduled.”
It comes after Flybe returned to the skies in April following an earlier collapse.
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It returned with a plan to operate up to 530 flights per week across 23 routes, serving airports such as Belfast City, Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Heathrow and Leeds Bradford.
Flybe was pushed into administration in March 2020 with the loss of 2,400 jobs as the Covid-19 pandemic destroyed large parts of the travel market.
Before it went bust it flew the most UK domestic routes between airports outside London.
Its business and assets were purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.
Thyme Opco was renamed Flybe Limited.
It had been based at Birmingham Airport.
The Government said that its “immediate priority” would be to support anyone trying to get home and those who have lost their jobs.
“This remains a challenging environment for airlines, both old and new, as they recover from the pandemic, and we understand the impact this will have on Flybe’s passengers and staff.
What can I do if my flight is cancelled?
By LISA MINOT, Head of Travel
THE failure of UK regional airline Flybe for the second time will see affected passengers stranded and struggling to rearrange travel plans at the last minute.
But what are your rights when an airline goes bust?
Q: How do I get home if my flight has been cancelled?
A: You will have to make your own arrangements and pay for an alternative method of transport, be it a flight with another airline, train or coach. When Flybe went bust for the first time in March 2020, rival airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet launched special rescue fares on routes where both companies operated.
Q: Can I get my money back for a flight I have booked?
A: If the amount you paid was over £100 and you used a credit card then you should contact your credit card provider and ask for your money back under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Those who paid by debit card should contact their bank and see if it is possible to do a charge back but this is not as guaranteed.
Q: I’ve got travel insurance, can I claim on that?
A: Contact your provider and check your policy. If your insurance includes Scheduled Airline Failure cover, you can claim on that but not all insurance policies feature this.
Q: Am I covered by ATOL?
A: The government-backed ATOL scheme only pays out if you have bought Flybe flights and one other element – be it a hotel, villa or even car hire – through a tour operator or travel agent. Those who have booked flights as part of a package may be able to claim. Contact the travel company who made the booking for you in this case or check on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website, caa.co.uk/news
“Our immediate priority is to support people travelling home and employees who have lost their jobs,” a spokesperson said.
“The Civil Aviation Authority is providing advice to passengers to help them make their journeys as smoothly and affordably as possible.
“The majority of destinations served by Flybe are within the UK with alternative transport arrangements available.
“We recognise that this is an uncertain time for affected employees and their families.
“Jobcentre Plus, through its Rapid Response Service, stands ready to support any employee affected.”