14 JANUARY 2019


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Article from BTNews 14 JANUARY 2019

Flybe flies on

The future of Flybe has been assured but under a different name after a new consortium called Connect Airways consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital agreed to buy the regional carrier for £2.2m.  See also COMMENT in this issue.

An official announcement said Flybe would continue to serve customers and communities across the UK and Ireland while also feeding customers to long-haul flights but would “in due course” be rebranded to Virgin Atlantic.

The statement said Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic provide a £20m bridge loan facility to support Flybe's ongoing requirements and on completion of the acquisition would provide up to £80m of further funding to the combined group to invest in its business and support its growth, as well as a contribution of Stobart Air.

Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener said the airline had been affected by higher fuel costs, currency fluctuations and Brexit uncertainty, which had put pressure on short-term financial performance.

She added: “By combining to form a larger, stronger, group, we will be better placed to withstand these pressures. We aim to provide an even better service to our customers and secure the future for our people.”

Independent locally-owned airline Blue Islands, which operates in the Channel Islands as a Flybe franchise partner utilising the Flybe brand and sales channels was among those welcoming the new deal.

“Blue Islands remains fully committed to serving the Channel Islands and customers can continue to book all Blue Islands operated services at flybe.com,” the company said. “We look forward to working with the new combined group.”

www.virginatlantic.com  www.stobartgroup.co.uk  www.cyruscapital.com

www.flybe.com  www.blueislands.com

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