26 NOVEMBER 2018
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Debate over the future of Flybe continued at the weekend after Virgin Atlantic confirmed it was in talks over a possible takeover of the regional carrier, which has put itself up for sale (See BTN 18 November).
Virgin’s interest was also confirmed by Flybe which said the airline was “one of the parties” it was talking to. Virgin said it was “reviewing its options in respect of Flybe” and a link-up could “range from enhanced commercial arrangements to a possible offer”.
One industry source suggested it was little more than a public relations exercise as far as a takeover was concerned. “Virgin got its fingers burnt with Little Red. With a change of management due (see AND FINALLY) and the completion of a deal that leaves Delta with a majority 49% of the airline, does it need the Flybe problem?"
Flybe currently flies routes from Heathrow using remedy slots as a result of the IAG-bmi merger. This commitment allows for an airline which has operated the scheme for at least two consecutive seasons (eg two summers) to take up further access under the remedies for use to destinations within Europe.
Flybe shares soared by more than 50% from 9.7p to 14.8p on Friday with the news of a Newquay – Heathrow service (See in today’s issue).
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