Left Menu
Development News Edition

UK's Johnson underscores importance of Flybe amid rescue talks

UK's Johnson underscores importance of Flybe amid rescue talks
File Photo. Image Credit: Wikipedia


  • UK's PM Boris Johnson has said Flybe is important for the country's transport links.
  • Johnson also added that the government will do what it can to help the company.
  • A rescue deal being negotiated could include an air passenger duty cut, media reports said.

Stricken regional airline Flybe is important for Britain's transport links and the government will do what it can to help the company, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, as government officials met to decide the airline's future. With Flybe's finances at breaking point, Transport Minister Grant Shapps is holding talks about potentially cutting air passenger taxes on all domestic flights to help it survive.

"It is not for the government to step in and save companies that simply run into trouble, but be in no doubt that we see the importance of Flybe in delivering connectivity across the whole United Kingdom," Johnson told BBC television. "We're working very hard to do what we can."

Flybe's flights operated as normal on Tuesday, a day after reports emerged suggesting it needed to raise new funds to help it survive through the winter when demand for travel is lower.

Negotiations could lead to a cut to air passenger duty (APD), said the BBC, and a possible deal to allow Flybe to defer payment of more than 100 million pounds ($130 million) for three years, said Sky News.

But talk of tax cuts for flying was met with anger from environmental groups.

Under the rescue deal being discussed, Flybe's owners, a group which includes Virgin Atlantic and which spent tens of millions to help rescue Flybe last year, would be required to invest tens of millions more of new equity.

Flybe has declined to comment on its finances and the talks about its future. Any government assistance would need to avoid breaching European Union rules on state aid. A form of short-term funding is one option the government is considering, said the BBC.

A junior transport minister said he could not provide lawmakers with any further details when responding to an urgent question about the airline in parliament.


Rumors about the possible demise of Flybe have heaped pressure on Johnson's newly elected government. In December, his Conservative party won seats across regions served by Flybe, helped by a promise to improve transport links outside London. Flybe's network of routes includes more than half of UK domestic flights outside London. Based in Exeter, southwest England, it carries eight million passengers a year between 71 airports in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The aviation industry has long opposed APD, a tax of at least 13 pounds levied on passengers departing from UK airports that raised about 3.7 billion pounds for the government in 2018/19. Flybe has said its business is disproportionately harmed by the tax as it makes its flights more expensive versus rail and road competitors because passengers traveling on return flights within the UK will pay it twice.

Greenpeace and other environmental groups, however, reacted angrily to suggestions the government could help encourage flying. "The government cannot claim to be a global leader on tackling the climate emergency one day, then making the most carbon-intensive kind of travel cheaper the next," said Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr.

Flybe has 68 aircraft and about 2,000 staff and was bought last year by Connect Airways, a consortium created by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and investment adviser Cyrus Capital. Should Flybe collapse, it would be the second high-profile failure in Britain's travel industry in less than six months after Thomas Cook went into liquidation last September, stranding thousands of passengers.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

SDG2030: Challenges of technological applications in advancing Global Goals

Application of contemporary and future information technologies may go milestones in advancing sustainable development goals SDGs provided the challenges are overcome and implementation is ensured....


Latest News

UPDATE 2-Pompeo says more U.S. action coming to support Venezuelan opposition leader

There will be more action by the United States to support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, after meeting with Guaido on the sidelines of a regional conference in Bogota. The South...

UPDATE 1-Four die as storm sweeps across Spain

Four people have died in strong winds, heavy snowfall and low temperatures as Storm Gloria swept across Spain on Sunday and Monday, officials said.With more than 30 provinces on bad weather alert, Valencia on the Mediterranean coast and the...

UPDATE 1-Democratic presidential candidates enjoy moment of harmony to mark King birthday

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren marched arm-in-arm on Monday, as a group of often feuding U.S. presidential candidates set aside their differences long enough to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Other Democratic White House hop...

Golden Knights in need of fast start vs. Bruins

The Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins head into their final game before a 10-day break on Tuesday night in Boston trying to come up with solutions for two very different problems. Vegas, which comes in off a 5-4 shootout loss at Montre...

Give Feedback