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Southampton: Collapse of Flybe will impact regional airport

By Dan Teuton
5 March 2020

The collapse of airline Flybe will impact Southampton's airport, business leaders have warned.

Commenting on the news that airline Flybe has gone into administration, Malcolm Hyde, CBI regional director South East & Thames Valley said: “Following Flybe’s collapse, our thoughts are with their employees and passengers trying to get home. Understandably they will be looking for reassurances today - addressing their concerns must be a priority.

“Southampton is a key hub for Flybe and is critical to the region’s connectivity.

“Government must support these talks, help protect those who’ve lost their jobs and secure vital regional connectivity. Better transport links are essential for South East firms and fundamental to the Government’s ambitions of ‘levelling up’ the UK’s economic performance.”

David Barnes, chief executive officer of the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC), said the collapse of Flybe was a hammer blow for the industry.

FAC represents hundreds of businesses in the aerospace sector and its supply chain, many of which will be affected.

Barnes said: “This is incredibly disappointing news and our sympathies are with the staff whose jobs are at risk and the passengers who have booked flights.

“A number of regional airports rely on the Flybe custom for the majority of their flights. At Southampton, for example, Flybe was responsible for nine out of 10 flights.

“Business will be affected in a number of ways. Many people use Flybe regularly for work and they will now have to find alternative and often more expensive ways of travelling that take much longer.

“And businesses that support Flybe or are reliant on their passengers will also be hit.

“These include the retail businesses in regional airports as well as those companies – many of them small and medium sized – who support the airline in other ways, from engineering firms to cleaning businesses.

“Our hope of course is that a buyer is found as quickly as possible so that as many routes as possible can continue to be served.”

Flybe, which is owned by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart and Cyrus Capital, an American hedge fund, has blamed the coronavirus crisis for hastening its collapse.

More than 2,000 people are employed by Flybe whose jobs are now at risk.

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