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Flybe says it is operating as usual despite cash crunch reports

By Elena Berton

The regional airline declined to comment on reports that it is seeking additional funds less than a year after being rescued by a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium

Flybe said its flights are running as normal. This is despite reports that it is in talks for emergency financing less than a year after its rescue by a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium.

“Flybe continues to provide great service and connectivity for our customers while ensuring they can continue to travel as planned. We don’t comment on rumour or speculation,” the airline said in a statement.

Sky News reported that Flybe, which handles half of the UK’s domestic flights outside London, was seeking additional financing amid rising losses. Auditor EY has been put on notice to handle an eventual administration process, the report said.

Flybe flies about 75 aircraft and serves more than 80 airports in the UK and Europe. The majority of its 2,000 employees is based in the UK.

Business customers prize Flybe’s domestic services because the airline flies to smaller regional airports, often at competitive fares compared with equivalent rail journeys.

Less than a year ago, Flybe sold its operations for £2.2m (€2.58m, $2.87m) to Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital.

The consortium agreed to invest £100m in the airline in return for a rebrand under the name Virgin Connect, which is due to be rolled out this year.

The news of Flybe’s difficulties follows the collapse of tour operator Thomas Cook, one of the UK’s highest-profile liquidations in years, and that of France’s Aigle Azur last year.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest carrier, and UK-based Monarch Airlines collapsed in 2017, while Iceland’s Wow Air closed down after a failed merger with Icelandair.

FURTHER READING: Head of British Airways parent IAG to step down

FURTHER READING: Thomas Cook latest news: rival airlines cash in as company closes

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