Flybe shut down all operations on March 5, 2020 leaving passengers stranded.
The defunct company was acquired by Thyme Opco.
The reborn carrier now intends to restart operations in 2022, this time based in Birmingham.
Birmingham Airport issued this statement:
One of Britain’s newest commercial airlines in several decades, Flybe Ltd, has announced that Birmingham Airport will be its new company headquarters and first new crew base.
Amongst one of the first UK airlines to be certified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) since Brexit, Flybe will serve key regions across the UK and EU with operations scheduled to begin in early 2022. Birmingham Airport’s Diamond House will be the location of the company’s new HQ and Operations Centre, in a move that is expected to create approximately 200 direct* new jobs in the Birmingham and West Midlands region over the next three years, with an estimated additional 400 direct jobs to be created nationwide during that same time frame.
Flybe CEO Dave Pflieger said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Birmingham Airport (BHX), the City of Birmingham, and the Mayor of West Midlands to make BHX the location of our new headquarters and first crew base. It was an ideal choice for us due to its great people and highly skilled workforce, its central UK location, and the fact that Birmingham Airport is a global travel hub where local and connecting customers have access to over 150 worldwide destinations. Today’s announcement marks the culmination of over 12 months of dedicated hard work by all involved, and it would not have been possible without the support of the CAA and the UK Government.”
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, said: “It really is such brilliant news that Flybe is coming back as a commercial airline, and even better that it has chosen Birmingham to house its new headquarters.
“Not only does this mean better domestic and international connectivity for our region as well as local jobs and opportunities being created here, but it’s yet another show of faith in the West Midlands with businesses choosing to commit to our region as we recover from the pandemic.
“Flybe’s choice highlights the strength of the aerospace sector in the West Midlands and the talent pool available, and I wish Dave and his team all the very best ahead of their official launch early next year.”
Nick Barton, Chief Executive, Birmingham Airport, added: “Flybe’s announcement that Birmingham has been chosen to become the headquarters for its launch next spring is fantastic news for our region’s connectivity needs, and it will bring with it some great new employment opportunities. Dave’s vast experience in managing start-up airlines and turnaround situations, coupled with the recovery of the Midlands’ economy post-Covid, means that Flybe’s return to the skies from Birmingham is a shot in the arm for our airport as well as West Midlands businesses and communities. We look forward to working with Dave and his team in preparation for next spring and to launch such a well-known brand here in Birmingham.”
The launch of Flybe is expected to not only enhance essential regional connectivity in the UK and create many valuable airline industry jobs, but also help restart many local economies as they rebound from the pandemic. This, in turn, should contribute to additional growth in the Midlands and assist with new and ongoing efforts to level-up the country.
Pflieger added that “I also want to emphasize that a key area of focus from day one for Flybe will be environmental sustainability and ensuring we do everything possible to reduce our carbon footprint and GHGs. Our entire fleet will be comprised of the De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400, which is a fast turboprop powered aircraft that can complete short journeys almost as quickly as a regional jet, but with lower CO2 emissions. In addition, we will also be partnering with local community charities and partners who are focused on the environment as well as other causes which align with our corporate goals and values.
“As for what’s next, please stay tuned. We plan to provide more information in the coming weeks and months about ticket prices, new routes and destinations, and other important news that will help customers visit loved ones, get away for a weekend, and get out on business trips. This is an incredibly exciting time for us, and we look forward to sharing more updates in the future.”
Today’s news follows the April 2021 sale of the business and assets of Flybe Ltd (in Administration, now renamed FBE Realisations Ltd) to Thyme Opco Limited (now renamed Flybe Limited).
*Based on industry data, it is estimated that an additional two indirect and induced jobs are created for every direct airline job.
Previously on April 14, 2021 Flybe issued this statement:
The Joint Administrators of the company previously known as Flybe Limited, now FBE Realisations 2021 Limited (in Administration), Simon Edel, Alan Hudson, Joanne Robinson and Lucy Winterborne of EY’s Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy team, have on 13 April 2021 completed the sale of Flybe’s business and assets to a new company affiliated with investment adviser Cyrus Capital. The new company previously known as Thyme Opco Limited, will now be renamed “Flybe Limited”.
This announcement marks the successful completion of the asset purchase agreement, which was signed on 19 October 2020, and includes the transfer of Flybe jobs, as well as assets and other parts of the business to the buyer.
Simon Edel, Joint Administrator and EY-Parthenon Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy (TRS) Partner 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.”
A Flybe Limited spokesperson added: “We are extremely excited to announce the conclusion of almost six months of dedicated hard work by the great team at Flybe, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the European Commission, and the many others who made this announcement possible. Today’s news represents a critical first step in our mission to accomplish the first-ever rescue of an insolvent British airline.
“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. 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.”
The Joint Administrators were appointed on 5 March 2020 following the significant disruption to the airline industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the Administration, Flybe was a UKbased independent regional airline in the UK carrying around eight million passengers a year between 81 airports across the UK and the rest of Europe.
Flybe (1st) aircraft slide show:
Flybe (1st) aircraft photo gallery: