UK regional airline Flybe have cancelled flights across the UK because of a combination of factors “including seasonal holiday issues”.
Basically the airline’s pilots have got too much holiday to use up (something that Ryan Air suffered in 2017) and the number of pilots and cabin crew leaving the airline’s employ is said to be “prodigious”.
The airline is estimated to be loosing £7,000 an hour and there’s likely to be a massive slashing of aircraft and routes to cut back the losses imminently.
The position for new owners Connect – and their owners, Stobart Aviation and Virgin Atlantic, is they need to correct the staggering losses as soon as possible, and be quite ruthless about it.
In many ways this isn’t too far from the scenario BA had when it bought up Iberia, the airline was a basket case and in dire straights, almost considered unsalvageable. However it was brought back from near death and is doing quite well.
Flybe’s days are numbered as a brand, and the damage – reductions, flight cancellations and redundancies will no doubt be carried out under the old name. Once that’s done the new branding is likely to be introduced.
Meanwhile passengers are unamused and Flybe’s handling of the situation has a lot to be desired. Flybe CEO Christine Oumiéres-Widener apologises, but people are less than happy: