Flybe fails to find a buyer to revive its services

Feb 17, 2023

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It looks like Flybe, the defunct U.K. airline, won’t be making a miraculous second comeback after all

After going into administration and ceasing flights on January 28 2023, court-appointed administrators David Pike and Mike Pink with Interpath Advisory set about finding a buyer for the airline.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Alas, it’s been announced that the Birmingham-based business will now be “winding down”, as talks concluded without a buyer in place.

The administrators said in a statement: “Despite significant interest from a number of credible parties, it has not been possible to develop a transaction in the available timeframe and as such, the joint administrators will now commence the process of winding down the business and identifying options in relation to the sale of specific rights, interests and assets.”

Earlier reports suggested that Air France-KLM and Lufthansa were among the parties interested in a takeover to nab various Flybe slots at London Heathrow (LHR) and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS).

Mr Pike continued: “Over the past two and a half weeks, we’ve held intensive discussions with a number of operators with a view to rescuing the airline and preserving the value in its assets.

Related: Can Flybe customers get their money back now the airline has collapsed?

“Unfortunately, there was a challenging set of circumstances at play, including the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ rules related to slots, complexities with European recognition of a potential Temporary Operating Licence and the high costs associated with preserving the Company’s operating platform, which meant there was a limited window in which a clear path forward could be set.

“Furthermore, it was clear from the outset that there was only a limited number of parties who had the necessary strategic fit and who could navigate the complexities of such a transaction to get a deal over the line. We thank those parties for their engagement. 

“However, it is with regret that discussions have now been brought to a close without a deal being agreed.

“We’d like to thank a number of stakeholders, including the CAA and the company’s lessors, who gave us the time and support we needed to ensure we were able to explore every available avenue to rescue the business. We’d also like to thank those employees who have been working closely with us since our appointment and who have worked with diligence and professionalism in this unsettling period.”

Related: Here are 14 of the cheapest places to fly to from Birmingham Airport

The administrators added that they would “continue to provide support to employees who have been impacted by redundancy”. 

A further 25 staff have been made redundant, on top of the 277 employees let go in January. Some 75,000 bookings for future flights were also impacted by the closure.

It’s been a tumultuous few years for Flybe, which first went into administration in March 2020 (in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic), costing more than 2,000 jobs in the process.

Company Thyme Opco (controlled by investment adviser Cyrus Capital) agreed to purchase the airline in October 2020, with the sale completing in April 2021 — and Flybe ‘rose from the ashes’ to resume a schedule of flights a year later in April 2022.

Featured image by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.