Airlines have begun to take the place of Flybe on its now vacant routes, following the regional airlines collapse on 5 March 2020.
There has been a call to recover Flybe’s previous connections, as it provided the majority of air services at Southampton, Belfast City and Exeter, as well as about half of those to Jersey, at Cardiff Airport and Wales.
Scottish airline, Loganair is to take on 16 of Flybe’s routes, focusing on airports at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Inverness. Following Flybe’s fall, many departures were cancelled across Scottish airports, but this new announcement will see the addition of nearly 400 new flights to its current schedule.
The failure of Flybe saw the loss of 2,400 jobs but there is also concern about the prospects for airport roles, such as baggage handlers, at some of Flybe’s biggest hubs: Aberdeen, Birmingham and Manchester. However, Loganair expects to open up a recruitment line for former Flybe workers as it plans to hire employees. The airline expects to recruit pilots, cabin crew and engineers, accumulating 100 new positions across four locations. Loganair commented that taking on the routes would “help former Flybe ground handling agents and airport operators at locations such as Southampton and Exeter to preserve employment in their business.”
After failing to secure a financial foothold and rejected proposals to a change in its air passenger duty (APD), Flybe did not manage to stay afloat which has had more repercussions that the loss of flights. “The collapse of Flybe is already having a domino effect on good jobs across regions where aviation is vital for sustaining connectivity and supporting local economies,” the GMB workers union said.
Airlines such as Blue Islands and Eastern Airways are currently needing to restore their own booking systems as they had relied on Flybe’s systems prior to its crash. Also, Virgin has had to shelve its plans to use Flybe for its regional and feeder services, although it has stated that it will “explore options” to connect to UK regions.
“Flybe played a critical and unique role in the UK aviation system, supporting the development of the regions by providing essential connectivity that no other airline or other mode of transport offered,” stated UK Airport Operators Association CEO, Karen Dee.