The airline had nearly gone out of business in January, and promised British government support has never been backed-up
by Thomas Ansell
Passengers at Groningen Aiport Eelde will not be able to fly to London Southend from today due to the airline that runs the route having gone bankrupt and ceasing trading. Planes will remain on the tarmac, and all further flights have been cancelled. At about 04:30 Dutch time this morning, Flybe was put into administration.
Today’s afternoon flight has been cancelled, and the Flybe website is suggesting that travellers do not go to the airport unless otherwise informed. It is not known if this is the end of the Eelde to London route, as it was operated by Stobart Air, an Irish airline that is part of the consortium that owns Flybe.
The head of International Airlines Group (IAG), Willy Walsh, yesterday said that it is likely that Stobart Air will be protected from the collapse of Flybe. Stobart Air and IAG collaborate for UK to Ireland flights.
Groningen Airport Eelde’s website says nothing about Flybe’s collapse, however as reported by luchtvaartnieuws.nl, a spokesperson from the airport said: “At this moment we are speaking with Stobart Air. We expect more clarity today.”
Were the London route to fail it would mean that Groningen Airport Eelde would have lost almost all of its regularly-scheduled destinations in the space of a few months, with AIS Airlines flights to Munster and Copenhagen having been stopped a few weeks ago.
The British government had said that they would step in to help the embattled airline in January, following its first warning of financial issues. That support never came.
In a statement sent to The Northern Times, Stobart Air said:
“Flybe was a valued airline partner and we are saddened for all those passengers and staff affected today.
Stobart Air have operated a number of Flybe services from the Isle of Man, Belfast, Edinburgh and London Southend in the UK which cease to operate with immediate effect.
Any affected passengers due to travel on these services should contact the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Further details are available on www.flybe.com
Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Stobart Air are unaffected. It is business as usual.”
Image via Flickr user Alec Wilson