Skift Take

The shakeout in European aviation many have predicted looks like it is happening in 2019.

UK-based regional airline Flybmi has become the latest casualty in Europe’s increasingly challenged aviation sector.

The carrier said on Saturday night that it had ceased operations and was filing for administration.

It operated 17 jets on routes to 25 European cities. Sister airline Loganair, which is also part of Airline Investments Ltd, is unaffected by the news.

A statement posted on the airline’s website blamed a number of issues for the closure, many of which are related to Brexit.

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit,” a spokesperson said.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around Flybmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe.”

Although fuel has come down in price in recent months, it is still relatively high. 

A number of other European airlines have gone out of business in recent months, including Germania and Primera Air.

Loganair, said its operations were not affected in the same way as Flybmi’s as it operated a fleet of turboprop aircraft, which are cheaper to run on shorter routes, instead of jets. Most of its routes are also in the UK so uncertainty around intra-European traffic rights post-Brexit, does not impact its business.

“Loganair expects to return to profit in the current financial year, is carrying record passenger numbers on many of its routes and is in a strong financial position,” said managing director Jonathan Hinkles.

Flybmi employed 376 people in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium and last year carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights.


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Tags: bankruptcy, brexit, europe

Photo credit: A Flybmi jet. The carrier has stopped flying. Rob Hodgkins / Flickr

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