Flybe set for summer return as buyout deal completed

Flybe’s journey back to the skies moved a step closer today after the sale of the collapsed airline to a firm backed by private equity firm Cyrus Capital was completed.

The deal, which was first announced in October last year, will see new owner Thyme Opco change its name to Flybe Limited.

A spokesperson for the carrier said that it would relaunch services sometime during the summer, subject to coronavirus travel restrictions.

The completion comes a little over a year since the regional flyer became the first casualty of the Covid-19 crisis, which pushed the already-embattled airline over the edge.

Prior to its collapse, Flybe carried around 8m passengers a year between 81 airports in the UK and Europe.

Upon relaunch the carrier will seek to revive its previous network, it confirmed today.

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“Subject to further success with vaccinations and relaxation of travel restrictions, we plan to launch a new and much improved Flybe sometime this Summer on many of our former routes where there remains a critical need for a strong, reliable, and customer-focused airline”, a spokesperson said.

“While our company will initially be smaller than before, we intend to grow, create valuable jobs, and make significant contributions to essential regional connectivity in the UK and EU.”

EY restructuring partner Simon Edel, who was one of four administrators appointed to the airline in March 2020, said:

“Completion of the sale of Flybe is positive news for local communities previously served by Flybe.

“The launch of a new Flybe will enhance regional connectivity across the UK and create new job opportunities within the airline industry. Flybe stands to make an important contribution to local economies as they rebuild after the pandemic and as restrictions ease to allow an increase in air travel.”