Hopes have been raised that key regional carrier Flybe could once again take to the skies.
A senior investor to Cyrus Capital – one of the investors that took over the airline as part of the Connect Airways consortium alongside Virgin and Stobart – told an Australian newspaper: “It’s definitely not the case that we have abandoned Flybe.”
Diminished appetite for travel in the wake of the covid-19 outbreak struck a final fatal blow in March to the financially beleaguered airline, which had this summer hoped to resume service as Virgin Connect.
The news spread disappointment across the Channel Islands, with concerns that Guernsey and Jersey would permanently lose access to key regional hubs such as Birmingham, Southend and Exeter.
Cyrus adviser Jonathan Peachey, who has been a director of Flybe since February 2019, has now suggested to The Australian that the airline may lift off again.
“We invested as part of a consortium with three shareholders," he said. "The shareholders committed over £100m to the business.
Pictured: The original plan, before Flybe's collapse, was to rebrand the airline as Virgin Connect.
“We invested everything that we had committed to invest and an additional sum in the months prior to the business going into administration as a result of the impact of covid-19.
“We are in regular contact with the administrator and we are doing everything we can to ensure that the business can emerge in some form from administration.”
Noting that “there is still a demand for regional connectivity in the UK”, he added that Cyrus is doing “everything it can, along with the other consortium members, to ensure that a business emerges that can re-hire the many thousands of employees who were dependent on it.”
Pictured: Flybe was a franchise partner of Blue Islands before the regional airline's demise.
Following Flybe's collapse in March, Aurigny offered rescue fares to affected passengers and franchise partner Blue Islands issued reassurances about its own future.
The months that have followed have proved challenging for the airline industry, with Aurigny passengers reducing to around 1% of usual levels during lockdown.
Blue Islands has been running a lifeline service for the States of Jersey during the lockdown and there has been talk about that island's government loaning the airline £10m to help it through its financial challenges.
Pictured top: A Flybe aircraft.
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