A bid is being made to revive Flybe early next year after administrators of the failed regional carrier agreed to the sale of its business and assets.
The brand, intellectual property, stock and equipment as been acquired by Thyme Opco, a company affiliated with investment adviser Cyrus Capital – previously involved in an attempt to revive the airline alongside Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group.
Administrators will now work together with Thyme Opco, the Flybe management team and the Civil Aviation Authority to prepare for the relaunch of Flybe’s airline operations.
“While the transaction is still subject to certain confidential conditions, the deal is expected to allow the Flybe business to re-start operations as a regional airline in the UK under the Flybe brand in early 2021,” a statement said.
Joint administrators were appointed to Exeter-based Flybe on March 5 following disruption to the airline industry caused by the Covid pandemic.
Flybe carried around 8 million passengers a year between 81 airports across the UK and the rest of Europe, with many UK domstic routes since picked up by Loganair and Eastern Airways.
Simon Edel, joint administrator and EY turnaround and restructuring strategy partner said: “Today’s announcement, and the upcoming completion of this sale, will be great news to communities around the country that were previously served by Flybe.
“The restart of this iconic brand, which was once Europe’s largest regional airline, will provide a potentially significant boost to aviation jobs, regional connectivity, and local economies.”
A Thyme Opco spokesperson added: “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to relaunch Flybe.
“The airline is not only a well-known UK brand, it was also the largest regional air carrier in the EU, so while we plan to start off smaller than before, we expect to create valuable airline industry jobs, restore essential regional connectivity in the UK, and contribute to the recovery of a vital part of the country’s economy.”
British Airline Pilors’ Association general secretary Brian Strutton said: “I hope this signals the start of a relaunch of Flybe and I’ve written to all the parties involved to discuss this with them.”