Flybe 'at risk of collapse' with 2,000 jobs at risk

Hundreds of jobs are at risk as the country's biggest domestic airline is reportedly on the brink of collapse.

Bosses at Flybe have been reportedly holding talks with ministers on the possibility of the government providing the emergency funds the airline needs.

Flybe

Flybe

Discussions have been held with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as the Department for Transport.

Some 2,000 jobs will be lost if the airline collapses.

It currently flies to several destinations from Leeds Bradford Airport, including Belfast, Newquay and Southampton.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned.

"We don't comment on rumour or speculation."

Spokesmen for the two Government departments issued the same statement, saying: "We do not comment on speculation or the financial affairs of private companies."

Flybe flies 8.5 million passengers each year to 170 European destinations.

It was bought for £2.2m in February last year by a consortium called Connect Airways, led by Virgin Atlantic, following poor financial results for the year.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots' union Balpa, said: "I am appalled that once again the future of a major UK airline and hundreds of jobs is being discussed in secret with no input from employees or their representatives.

"According to reports, the airline could have collapsed over the weekend which would have been devastating news.

"This is an appalling state of affairs and we demand that the owners of Flybe - Virgin, Stobart and Cyrus - and the Government departments involved stop hiding and talk to us about Flybe.

"We have a right to be consulted and the staff have a right to know what is going on."