“Flybe completes sale to Virgin-led consortium for £2.8m”

“Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has been bought by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic.

Connect Airways, which consists of Virgin, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital, paid £2.8m for the airline on Friday.

It now means that flights currently operated by Flybe will soon be taking off under the Virgin brand.

Cyrus Capital now own 40 per cent of the Exeter-based airline, with Virgin and Stobart acquiring a 30 per cent stake each.

Flybe tweeted about the takeover on Friday night: “Today’s confirmation of the sale of Flybe to Connect Airways secures an exciting future for our customers & employees as we continue to provide vital regional connectivity in the UK & beyond. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/flybe-completes-sale-virgin-led-2571675

Flybe rejects second bid as too late

“Troubled Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has snubbed a rival rescue proposal from investors including US airline Mesa Air Group and backed by former Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler.

Shares in Flybe more than doubled to 2.9p as it confirmed the “highly conditional” approach from a consortium including Mesa Airlines of Arizona and South African hedge fund Bateleur Capital.

But Flybe said it “does not believe that the indicative proposal is executable in the timeframe required to enable Flybe to continue to trade”.

It added it continues to back the existing takeover by the Connect Airways consortium – which consists of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and investment firm Cyrus Capital – as the “only viable option available to the company which provides the security that the business needs to continue to trade successfully”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-47226619

“Flybe or Flybmi? Airline reassures passengers after rival goes into administration”

“… Flybe has now spoken out to reassure users that it bears no relation to Flybmi.

A post on Twitter said: “We are very sorry to hear about the situation with the competing British regional airline Flybmi and our thoughts are with their employees during these difficult times.

“Flybe has nothing to do with Flybmi and our flights continue to operate as normal.”

But while flights may be unaffected, the airline is currently mid way through a takeover that could affect passengers later this Spring.

The company is currently being bought out by the firm behind Virgin Atlantic in a £2.2 million takeover.

It comes after the carrier put itself up for sale in November, placing 2,300 jobs at risk, just weeks after issuing a profit warning.

Speaking on what this means for customers, a Flybe spokeswoman told Mirror Money no changes to schedules are expected.

“There will also be no changes to bookings from its website, while existing flights won’t be affected by the announcement,” a comment added.

On twitter, the Exeter-based airline said: “Flights will continue to operate as per our published schedule and you can continue to book flights with us at Flybe.com “.

And speaking about flights over the summer holidays, it said: “Flybe with its consortium including Virgin Atlantic & Stobart Group would like to reassure passengers that there will be no major change to our published schedules to the end of Summer 2019 (i.e. end of Oct 19).”

Flybe, whose roots date back to 1979, has 78 planes operating from smaller airports such as London City, Southampton, Cardiff, Aberdeen and Norwich to destinations in the UK and Europe.

It serves about eight million passengers a year, but has been struggling to recover from a costly IT overhaul and has been trying to reduce costs. …”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/flybe-flybmi-airline-reassures-passengers-14014234

” FlyBMI [ NOT Flybe] collapses, blaming Brexit uncertainty

“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. These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit.

“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.”

The company operates scheduled passenger services to 24 destinations, including Brussels, Leeds, Munich and Bristol using its fleet of 17 Embraer jets.

Passengers about to board a flight to Munich from Bristol were told their flight had been cancelled after they had checked in and the company’s planes that were in Brussels were called back.

Aircrew were told not to come to work and those due to be abroad for the weekend were flown back.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/16/flybmi-collapses-blaming-brexit-uncertainty

“Flybe will wind up company if shareholders reject sale”

“Flybe has warned shareholders it will wind up the company if they do not back a sale to a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air.

The airline said failure to approve a sale would mean investors were unlikely to get anything for their shares.
The airline’s board agreed the £2.2m sale to Connect Airways group last month, but the deal needs investor approval at a meeting on 4 March.

Flybe acknowledged the offer of 1 penny per share was “disappointingly low”.

However, it said it was the only rescue plan on the table.
In a statement on Thursday, Flybe said: “If the [sale] scheme is not approved, the Flybe directors intend to take steps to wind-up the company and shareholders are likely to receive no value for their shares in Flybe.”

Based in Exeter, Flybe carries about eight million passengers a year from airports such as Southampton, Cardiff and Aberdeen, to the UK and Europe.

It put itself up for sale last November, following a profits warning the previous month. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/47165902

Fight for Flybe

“Former Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler has made a capital injection offer for ailing airline Flybe as it prepares to complete a proposed sale to a group led by Virgin Atlantic.

The Flybe board today confirmed it had received a “very preliminary, short and highly conditional outline contingency proposal” from Tinkler, who was fired from the Stobart board last summer amid a row with incumbent chairman Ian Ferguson.

Flybe said the proposal “envisages a capital injection and replacement of the funding provided by Connect Airways”, the Virgin-led group which offered to provide a £20m liquidity injection to keep the carrier afloat last month/ It will also make up to £80m available in further funding.

Flybe said Connect Airways had provided the first £15m of the £20m credit facility it announced in January.

“Flybe confirms that its advisers have held an initial discussion with Mr Tinkler’s advisers in relation to the preliminary proposal and that no formal proposal was made,” it said. “For the avoidance of doubt, the preliminary proposal does not contemplate an offer for the whole of Flybe or any other acquisition structure.”

Flybe said the capital injection proposed by Tinkler would only be provided if the the airline’s sale to Connect Airways did not go through. …”

http://www.cityam.com/272618/former-stobart-boss-andrew-tinkler-makes-capital-injection

“Flybe pensioners risk losing all if Virgin takeover bid fails”

“Flybe pensioners could face financial ruin if a rescue takeover led by Virgin Atlantic falls through, after it emerged that the airline’s retirement fund is 
not protected by Britain’s pension 
lifeboat.

Some £170m of benefits owed to 1,350 members of the British Regional Airlines Group pension scheme may be wiped out if the Exeter-based airline failed because Flybe’s pension fund is registered in the Isle of Man, rather than the UK.

This means scheme members are not entitled to payments from the 
Pension Protection Fund (PPF) in the event of an insolvency. Flybe had a £11.6m pension shortfall in November 2018. …”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/02/02/flybe-pensioners-risk-losing-virgin-takeover-bid-fails/