Hopes have been raised that key regional carrier Flybe could once again take to the skies.
A senior investor to Cyrus Capital – one of the investors that took over the airline as part of the Connect Airways consortium alongside Virgin and Stobart – told an Australian newspaper last week: “It’s definitely not the case that we have abandoned Flybe.”
Diminished appetite for travel in the wake of the covid-19 outbreak struck a final fatal blow in March to the financially beleaguered airline, which had this summer hoped to resume service as ‘Virgin Connect’.
The news spread disappointment across the Channel Islands, with concerns that Jersey and Guernsey would permanently lose access to key regional hubs.
Pictured: Flybe was due to be rebranded as Virgin Connect.
Following Flybe’s collapse, its franchise partner Blue Islands stepped in to take on some of the routes shortly before travel was strictly limited to medical and compassionate trips via Southampton and Gatwick due to the pandemic.
Loganair also announced that it would be scooping up Flybe’s Aberdeen and Inverness routes.
But Cyrus adviser Jonathan Peachey, who has been a director of Flybe since February 2019, has now suggested to The Australian that the airline may once again lift off.
He explained: “We invested as part of a consortium with three shareholders. The shareholders committed over £100m to the business.
“We invested everything that we had committed to invest and an additional sum in the months prior to the business going into administration as a result of the impact of covid-19.
“We are in regular contact with the administrator and we are doing everything we can to ensure that the business can emerge in some form from administration.”
Noting that “there is still a demand for regional connectivity in the UK”, he added that Cyrus is doing “everything it can, along with the other consortium members, to ensure that a business emerges that can re-hire the many thousands of employees who were dependent on it.”
It comes as Jersey is looking to rebuild its air links in the wake of the pandemic, with Ports of Jersey officials largely looking to BA and easyJet to revive connectivity as lockdown restrictions ease.
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