The already struggling British airline Flybe went bankrupt on Thursday in the middle of a decline in demand caused by the latest coronavirus, leaving passengers stranded and undermining the profitability of regional airports across the country.
The British regional carrier narrowly missed bankruptcy in January but continued to lose revenue. Union members and opposition politicians have blamed both the airline owners and the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson for failing to act to save the airline.
The coronavirus’ effects on flight reservations proved the last straw for the Exeter-based carrier, which handles nearly 40% of UK domestic flights, as the government stalled on a contentious £100m loan.
Flybe falls victim to coronavirus and ‘stronger’ airlines are likely to follow. It was announced early on Thursday morning by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that the airline had entered administration.
It said all flights had been canceled and advised passengers to stay at home.
According to Shapps, the UK government sent workers to help stranded passengers and called on train bus and airline companies to help them get home. Several train companies allowed Flybe passengers and crew free travel. British Airways said it would get Flybe employees home for free and offered 50-pound fares to travelers left with no flights.