On Air

Rick Houghton

Flybmi goes into administration - all flights cancelled

Regional airline Flybmi has gone into administration, with all flights cancelled.

Thousands of holidaymakers have had their plans thrown into disarray.

One customer feared she would be left stranded in Brussels after the airline's collapse.

Another disgruntled passenger claimed he and his family only learned that their flight was cancelled after they had gone through security - and that was after their departing airport had changed from Bristol to Southampton.

Meanwhile, the airline was described as an "absolute joke" by a traveller who has found she is unable to check in for a Flybmi flight that was due to depart on Sunday - a flight she had booked more than a year in advance.

British Midland Regional Limited, which ran the East Midlands-based airline, said: "The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU's recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

"Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi's ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe.

"Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

"Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline's shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40m in the last six years.

"We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable."

Flights operated by Flybmi served Aberdeen, Bristol, Brno, City of Derry, Dusseldorf, East Midlands, Esbjerg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Jonkoping, Karlstad, London Stansted, Lublin, Milan Bergamo, Munich, Newcastle, Norrkoping, Nuremburg, Oslo, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rostock/Laage, Saarbrucken and Stavanger.

Customer Laura Mason tweeted: "@Flybmi meant to be flying tomorrow. Can't check in & says on stand by! Booked flights a year ago what an absolute joke #awful service."

Bmi Regional employed a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

British Airline Pilots' Association general secretary Brian Strutton said: "The collapse of FlyBMI is devastating news for all employees.

"Regrettably Balpa had no warning or any information from the company at all."

What should customers do?

:: Customers who booked directly with Flybmi should contact their payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place;

:: Anyone who has booked Flybmi flights via a travel agent or one of Flybmi's codeshare partner airlines should contact their agent or airline for details of options available to them;

:: Those with travel insurance should contact their provider to find out if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.