BDO pilots Flybmi administration

BDO business restructuring partners Graham Newton, Tony Nygate and James Stephen have been appointed as joint administrators over British Midland Regional Ltd, the East Midlands-based airline which operated as Flybmi, and ceased operations at the weekend with all flights cancelled and the loss of around 400 jobs

Flybmi operated 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities. The airline carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights in 2018.

The majority of Flybmi’s 376 employees across the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium have been made redundant, although some have been retained to assist the joint administrators.

A spokesperson for Flybmi said: ‘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 Flybmi’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.

‘Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40m in the last six years.

‘We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.’

Customers who booked directly with Flybmi are advised to contact their payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place.

Customers who have booked Flybmi flights via a travel agent or one of its codeshare partner airlines are advised to contact their agent or airline for details of options available to them. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to find out if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

Tony Nygate, BDO business restructuring partner, said: ‘As joint administrators, we are taking all necessary steps to ensure customers, staff and suppliers are supported through the administration process. Our job is to maximise recoveries and minimise distress for all parties, acting as smoothly and swiftly as possible.

‘Customers can find information on the Flybmi website regarding the steps they need to take to apply for a refund from their payment provider or travel company.

We are also working with the company’s employees to provide them with guidance on how to make a claim for monies which may be due to them. In addition, we are contacting suppliers to explain how to apply for monies owed to them.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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