Flybe, Europe’s largest independent airline, is at threat of collapse. The news comes after the company’s huge downturn in sales.

    Devastated customers posted their thoughts on social media displaying their upset over the potential loss of such a historic airline.

    One customer said: “I really hope Flybe finds a way through this. Not just for the sake of all their staff, but for the sake of regional connectivity. It’s already hard enough to travel around the London-centric UK, losing Flybe would be a real blow to other parts of the country.”

    The company has refused to comment on the news. According to the Metro, a Flybe spokeswoman said: “Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned. ‘We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”

    Elsewhere in the aviation industry, professionals are expressing their disappointment over how the airline is handling the news and their staff. General secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), Brian Strutton, expressed his feelings toward Flybe accusing the parties involved of “hiding” and said they needed to be clearer on the “appalling state of affairs”.

    “I am appalled that once again the future of a major UK airline and hundreds of jobs is being discussed in secret with no input from employees or their representatives,” he comments.

    “According to reports, the airline could have collapsed over the weekend, which would have been devastating news. This is an appalling state of affairs and we demand that the owners of Flybe – Virgin, Stobart and Cyrus – and the government departments involved stop hiding and talk to us about Flybe.”

    According to its last annual report (2017/2018), the company made a £9.4m loss before tax and saw a 0.9 per cent decrease in seat capacity.

    The company first opened its doors 41 years ago on 1 November 1979. Based in Exeter, Flybe carries eight million passengers a year; between 71 airports across the UK and Europe, over 189 routes across 12 countries. It was awarded the most punctual airline in the UK (8th in Europe) in FlightGlobal’s annual On-Time Performance Awards (January 19).

    Talks were planned with Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid due to be held today.

    Low-cost carriers including Logonair are adopting new strategies to drive revenues and ensure future growth.