The board of the UK regional airline Flybe has confirmed that it is: “in discussions with a number of strategic operators about a potential sale of the company.” It added that it is also reviewing other “strategic options” including reducing flights, but flight tickets that have already been purchased are unaffected.
The move comes just weeks after a profit warning that full-year losses will be £22m due to a fall in demand, a weaker pound and rising fuel costs.
Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) responded to the new that Flybe has put itself up for sale with a strong message to any potential buyers. “Flybe is the largest regional airline in Europe with 2,300 talented, committed employees in the UK who will be very worried to hear this morning that their company is up for sale. Despite warnings this will still be a bolt out of the blue. BALPA believes that Flybe is fundamentally a sound airline and we will scrutinise any offers to buy Flybe very carefully to ensure continued employment is protected.
“We also expect to be consulted by Flybe and potential bidders over any future plans they have for the airline and its employees, and we reserve our right to express our opinion and take any other steps in order to protect our members’ interests.”