Greater Manchester comes together to help those affected by Flybe collapse
By Joe Manock
Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has collapsed into administration. The fall of the Exeter-based airline has caused the loss of more than 2,000 jobs.
Greater Manchester partners have come together to support employees affected by the announcement.
The Growth Company and Jobcentre Plus are providing hands-on support to former Mancunion Flybe staff.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has promised that the council will provide expert advice and support services to the employees made redundant.
Andy Burnham said: “We have acted quickly to make sure that Flybe employees in Greater Manchester are able to access the same dedicated support service that was offered to Thomas Cook staff last year. It is incredibly difficult to lose your job like this, so suddenly and with little support. I want to reassure people here in Greater Manchester that we will do whatever we can to help them.
“This is a real blow to Flybe staff and passengers, and right now my thoughts are with everyone affected by this airline’s collapse.”
The measures taken by the Manchester council mirror the response to last year’s Thomas Cook collapse, which jeopardised 9000 jobs.
The collapse of Flybe, which operates almost 40% of UK domestic flights, came less than two months after the government announced a rescue deal. Yet the government stalled on its £100m loan, due to fears of the coronavirus. A plunge in travel demand as a result of the virus proved too much for the airline to cope with.
Flybe’s administrator, the accountancy firm EY, spoke of how the “added pressures” of coronavirus worsened an existing insecure financial situation. Before the outbreak, Flybe was already struggling from the competition with its rival Loganair and rising fuel costs.
First Rail has offered free travel to Flybe passengers and staff. While EasyJet has offered discounted fares for stranded passengers and free flights to Flybe staff so they can get home.