LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– UK’s regional airline Flybmi has officially announced halting all its flights and filed for administration.
The company said it had been badly affected by rises in fuel and carbon costs and uncertainty over Brexit. The East Midlands-based airline, which has 376 staff, operates 17 planes flying to 25 European cities.
Affected passengers have been asked to contact their travel agents or insurance and credit card companies.
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.”
The Civil Aviation Authority also published advice for travellers.
Rory Boland, travel editor for consumer body Which?, said: “Some customers have claimed that tickets were being sold in the hours before the airline went bust, knowing full well those tickets would never be honoured, and passengers will rightly be outraged if this is proved to be the case.”
One of Flybmi’s domestic routes, linking Derry and Stansted, was subsidised by the government to boost trade and travel between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Several people use the flights for work and Derry Strabane Council said it was in emergency talks with the Department of Transport to seek a replacement airline on that route.
British Airline Pilots’ Association general secretary Brian Strutton 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.”
Last year the airline ran 29,000 flights, carrying 522,000 passengers.
Flying from Aberdeen, Derry, Bristol, the East Midlands, Stansted and Newcastle in the UK, its planes travelled to destinations in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Sweden.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS