Flybe To Return To The Skies Next Year
As reported by The Irish News, collapsed airline Flybe has announced that it will return to the skies in early 2022.
The regional carrier had reportedly operated around 80 percent of routes at Belfast City Airport when it entered administration in March 2020.
From a new base in Birmingham, Flybe reportedly said it will serve "key regions across the UK and European Union", although specific routes reportedly have not been confirmed.
The airline's collapse last year reportedly left 2,400 out of work as the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed large parts of the travel market.
It was based in Exeter but along with being the anchor airline at Belfast City, it had a major presence at Aberdeen, Manchester, and Southampton, and flew the most UK domestic routes between airports outside London.
Its business and assets were reportedly purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.
Thyme Opco has reportedly been renamed Flybe Limited.
Flybe reportedly said the opening of its headquarters in Birmingham is expected to create approximately 200 new jobs in the Birmingham and West Midlands region over the next three years.
The airline's chief executive, Dave Pflieger, reportedly said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with Birmingham Airport (BHX), the City of Birmingham, and the Mayor of West Midlands to make BHX the location of our new headquarters and first crew base.
"It was an ideal choice for us due to its great people and highly skilled workforce, its central UK location, and the fact that Birmingham Airport is a global travel hub where local and connecting customers have access to over 150 worldwide destinations."
He reportedly added, "We plan to provide more information in the coming weeks and months about ticket prices, new routes and destinations, and other important news that will help customers visit loved ones, get away for a weekend, and get out on business trips."
Belfast City Airport
A number of regional carriers stepped in to fill the void at Belfast City Airport following Flybe's collapse last year.
Those efforts suffered a setback in June 2021 following the collapse of Stobart Air.
The airline had been the franchise operator for Aer Lingus Regional, which ran hub out of the east Belfast airport.
Aviation industry veteran Conor McCarthy's Emerald Airlines has already been announced as the new operator of Aer Lingus Regional from 2023.
But it is reportedly thought that the start-up could get off the ground at some stage in 2022.
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