Flybe shutdown causes chaos for expats and business travellers

Published:  5 Mar at 6 PM
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Expats regularly flying between Spain and the UK are devastated over the Flybe bankruptcy.

The popular low-cost carrier was a staple for Britons living or working in Spain and needing a convenient, inexpensive service between the two countries. Also popular with holidaymakers, those with second homes in Spain and long-term residents committed to regular visits to their elderly UK-based parents, the loss of the service is due to affect a huge number of regular travellers between the two countries.

The troubled low-cost airline had recently been bailed out by the British government via an agreement over deferred income tax payments, but the effect on travel of the coronavirus was its last straw. Cancellations had piled up and, just before the announcement of its closure hit the media, the British government refused the troubled airline any further financial support. British expats are furious over the collapse, with many telling the media it was a lifeline for short-notice visits to loved ones in the UK.

The carrier’s abrupt closure last night has left huge numbers of passengers in limbo, with many who’d already boarded turfed off the planes and told to make their own way to their destinations and others being provided with coaches between UK airports and their final destinations. Flybe was Europe’s largest regional airline and was an expat favourite until coronavirus cancellations took it down, even although some thought the service was too expensive. Job losses at destination airports as well as in the UK are expected to top 2,300, and those who’ve booked flights or even holidays as well as those stranded in Europe may need to fight for refunds.
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