A resurrected Flybe has moved a step closer, with the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.
The airline said that Dave Pflieger (pictured top) was “a highly experienced aviation executive who has successfully led and managed multiple airline start-ups and turnarounds globally”.
The Flybe brand was bought for a nominal sum by global private equity firm Cyrus Capital last year in the first ever rescue of a British airline from insolvency.
The previous incarnation – which was founded in late 70s as Jersey European Airways – collapsed in March last year, one of the earliest and highest profile casualties of the pandemic.
The new version of Flybe, which once claimed to be Europe’s biggest regional airline, carrying around 8 million passengers a year, has yet to announce any routes.
Now led by Mr Pflieger, it is reportedly in talks with airports over routes and slots. It is thought that its launch network will be a fraction of its failed namesake and is likely to be domestic only.
It is not yet known if Jersey will feature in that network.
Pictured: The original Flybe collapsed in March 2020.
The airline registered its first aircraft in January and a freshly painted Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 was recently photographed at Maastricht Airport sporting Flybe livery.
It began a recruitment drive for training staff in September.
The airline said that Mr Pflieger had held senior executive roles at Delta Air Lines, Song, Virgin America, Silver Airways and most recently as CEO of Ravn Air Group, the largest regional airline in Alaska.
He also led the “highly successful” turnaround and re-branding of national carrier Fiji Airways.
The Flybe brand, its intellectual property and some assets, including spare parts, were bought off administrators by a company called Thyme Opco, which is backed by Cyrus Capital, the hedge fund that together with Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group bought Flybe in 2019 but was unable to save the airline from collapse.
The new company suffered a setback in June when it lost the former Flybe's lucrative slots at Heathrow after the carrier’s old operating licence was officially revoked.
It has also been reported that EY Parthenon, the joint administrators for the former airline, have said that up to £650m is being claimed by more than 900 unsecured creditors and it could approach the new owner for some of the money.
Mr Pflieger said: “I am extremely excited to be leading such a great new team.
“The last 12 months have been intensely busy for all of us here, but it has been very rewarding to know that we are soon going to launch a new, better, and stronger company that will build upon a respected and well-known brand, create valuable industry jobs, and once again play a critical role in connecting regions and communities across the UK.
“Given that important task, our team and I recognise we have a responsibility to create and grow a great company that delivers for our customers, our employees, and the communities that we plan to serve.”
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