Flybe collapse: Heartbroken staff find out of jobs loss from the news

5 March 2020, 05:58

Flybe staff were emailed two hours after the company went into administration
Flybe staff were emailed two hours after the company went into administration. Picture: PA/LBC News
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

On ex-Flybe pilot told LBC News the airline's staff only learnt about job losses from the news with the announcement made an hour before staff were contacted.

The carrier narrowly avoided going bust in January but has continued to lose money.

A drop in demand caused by the coronavirus "made a difficult situation worse" for Flybe and administrators announced in the early hours of Thursday that it had ceased trading with immediate effect.

Crisis talks were held throughout the day on Wednesday to try to secure a rescue package, but no deal was agreed.

Read more: Airline Flybe collapses claiming coronavirus 'made a difficult situation worse'

Staff were emailed at 04.30am on Thursday morning by administrators. The email informed staff their employment was "terminated with effect from today."

Staff were also told to "immediately" return any company property they had in their possession and not to use mobile phones further.

Flybe staff with a company car were informed once they got home vehicle insurance would no longer continue.

The email told staff they had lost their jobs with immediate effect
The email told staff they had lost their jobs with immediate effect. Picture: LBC News

Unions have reacted angrily over the collapse of Flybe - which will cost at least 1,4000 jobs - just weeks after the company narrowly avoided going under.

One staff member used social media to tell her followers of her plight. She said "Heart is broken for all of you guys, we had to wait till 2am for sky news to officially break it. Never got anything from CEO. Keeping my fingers crossed for you all but it all looks to familiar. Stay strong."

Read more: Flybe collapse: Which airports did the airline fly from?

Oliver Richardson, national officer for major airline industry union Unite, said: "Unite members and the entire staff at Flybe, will be feeling angry and confused about how and why the airline has been allowed to collapse.

"It is simply outrageous that the government has not learned the lessons following the collapse of both Monarch and Thomas Cook that the much promised airline insolvency review has still not materialised.

"While other European countries are able to introduce measures to keep airlines flying when they enter administration, the UK remains unable or unwilling to do so."

Staff were advised to return company property as soon as possible
Staff were advised to return company property as soon as possible. Picture: LBC News

In a statement, chief executive Mark Anderson said the company had made "every possible attempt" to avoid collapse but had been "unable to overcome significant funding challenges".

"The UK has lost one of its greatest regional assets," Mr Anderson said.

"Flybe has been a key part of the UK aviation industry for four decades, connecting regional communities, people and businesses across the entire nation.

"I thank all our partners and the communities we have been privileged to serve. Above all I would like to thank the Flybe team for their incredible commitment and dedication."

The company said all Flybe flights were immediately grounded and advised all passengers not to travel to airports unless alternative flight arrangements had been made.

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