Flybe told customers that it has grounded all flights as it enters administration, adding that its business in the United Kingdom had “ceased trading with immediate effect.”
“If you are due to fly with Flybe, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline,” the company told customers in a statement Thursday. “Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.”
The Exeter-based budget carrier was founded in 1979 and at one point was Europe’s largest independent regional airline, carrying eight million passengers a year and operating more than 200 routes.
But Flybe’s financial challenges had been “compounded by the outbreak of coronavirus which in the last few days has resulted in a significant impact on demand,” the airline said in a statement widely reported by UK media.
The government says it is working with the industry to minimize disruption to Flybe routes, “including by looking urgently at how routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established.”
Authorities are also asking other airlines to offer passengers reduced fares, and is requesting that train and bus companies accept Flybe tickets as payment.
The UK Department for Transportation, meanwhile, said it would help Flybe staff members look for new jobs “as soon as possible.”