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UK government considers measures to save Flybe

By Ramla Soni

The airline might be permitted to defer a tax bill, implement a rescue plan and secure more than 2,000 jobs

The UK government is considering measures to save Flybe from collapse, including short-term funding and cutting air passenger duty (APD) on all domestic flights.

Flybe might be permitted to defer a tax bill, implement a rescue plan, and secure more than 2,000 jobs. The company operates more than half of UK internal flights outside London.

The measures may include short-term funding to Flybe, using government money available to companies for investment and which does not breach EU rules on state aid.

A cut to APD on domestic routes is is expected to be applied industry-wide and to be announced at the UK Budget in March.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC there was "no doubt" about the importance of the airline. He added it was "not for government" to step in and save companies that run into trouble.

However he said that the government sees the “importance of Flybe in delivering connectivity across the whole of the United Kingdom”.

The airline carries about eight million passengers a year from UK airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, Belfast City, Cardiff and Aberdeen.

Flybe has not commented.

FURTHER READING: Flybe says it is operating as usual despite cash crunch reports

FURTHER READING: Ryanair hit by higher costs and delays to 737 MAX deliveries

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