‘Devastating news’ as airline enters administration

Flybmi, the airline based at East Midlands Airport, has ceased flights blaming spikes in costs and Brexit uncertainty.

The airline’s owner British Midland Regional Limited employed 376 staff and operated 17 aeroplanes to 25 destinations across Europe.

A Flybmi spokesman said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement.

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe.”

Flybmi carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights in 2018 and operated from six UK airports – Aberdeen, Bristol, City of Derry, East Midlands, London Stansted and Newcastle.

Last night, Flybmi’s sister company Loganair last night stepped in to take over the airline’s routes from Newcastle and Aberdeen – and hinted that it could save more.

The airline told passengers: “Customers who booked directly with Flybmi should contact their payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place. Customers who have booked flybmi flights via a travel agent or one of flybmi’s codeshare partner airlines are recommended to contact their agent or airline for details of options available to them. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to find out if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.”

Meanwhile, a statement from The British Airline Pilots Association said: “The collapse of Flybmi is devastating news for all employees. Regrettably BALPA had no warning or any information from the company at all. Our immediate steps will be to support Flybmi pilots and explore with the directors and administrators whether their jobs can be saved.”