Former Flybe Shareholder Considers Reviving The Airline

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Back in June, we had written about Cyrus Capital’s intention to revive collapsed regional airline Flybe. According to sources, it looks like the investment firm is following through with these intentions as it attempts to require Flybe’s assets from business administrators. All of these efforts are being undertaken with a plan to relaunch the airline next year.

Flybe had since ceased all operations due to financial strains – having been in trouble before the current global health crisis came in. Photo: Getty Images

Requiring Flybe assets

According to Sky News, private equity and investment advisory firm Cyrus Capital is in the middle of a plan to reacquire some of Flybe’s assets. The firm was among several companies which formed a consortium to take ownership of the struggling carrier. Other companies included Stobart Aviation and Virgin Atlantic.

It is understood that Cyrus is in discussions with EY about a deal. Also known as Ernst & Young, EY is the global professional services firm appointed to oversee the company’s insolvency, having been in the role since March. It has also been reported that several Flybe executives are involved in the proposed relaunch.

Flybe Embraer Jet
In the summer of 2010, Flybe ordered $1.3bn worth of Embraer aircraft, amounting to 35 ERJ 175s. Photo: Flybe

It’s unknown at this time whether or not the revived airline, forming from the ashes of Flybe, will hold on to the airline’s name. This was certainly not the case for restructured and revived Italian airline Alitalia. The new government-run carrier will now go by the name ITA – or Italia Trasporto Aereo.

A smaller version of Flybe in 2021

Sources go on to say that Cyrus’ plan is to relaunch a smaller version of the regional carrier next year. However, the precise timeline is dependent on a recovery in passenger demand as well as the easing of coronavirus-related quarantine measures.

Prior to the airline’s collapse, Flybe was the largest regional airline in Europe, carrying around nine million passengers annually. It operated 40% of domestic flights in the UK.

bae146 flybe
Flybe even operated the small jet-powered BAe 146. Photo: Aldo Bidini via Wikimedia Commons 

News not necessarily new

While some new details have emerged in this latest report, the fact that Cyrus is working to revive the airline is nothing new.

UKAviation.news quoting Australian conservative broadsheet newspaper The Australian, Cyrus Capital’s senior advisor Jonathan Peachey is on record saying the following earlier this year:

“We invested everything that we had committed to invest and an additional sum in the months prior to the business going into administration as a result of the impact of Covid-19.

“We are in regular contact with the administrator, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that the business can emerge in some form from administration.

“There’s still a demand for regional connectivity in the UK.

“Cyrus is doing everything it can, along with the other consortium members, ensuring that a business emerges that can re-hire the many thousands of employees who were dependent on it.”

Do you think Cyrus will succeed in relaunching Flybe? Would you want the new airline to retain the Flybe brand and name? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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