Flybe cancels dozens of flights, disrupting thousands of passenger journeys

Thousands of passengers with bookings on Flybe have had their flights cancelled. The airline, which has recently been financially rescued, has grounded at least 24 departures on Wednesday.

Flybe took the decision on Tuesday evening, and told affected passengers by text and emails.

Belfast City has had at least 10 cancellations, with Birmingham and Southampton also badly affected.

All of them are core airports for Flybe. Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff are also affected.

But the airline’s Heathrow services � including the eight flights a day to and from Newquay that were launched at the weekend � appear unaffected. Flybe branded flights that are actually operated by Stobart Air and Eastern Airways should not be grounded.

The airline went into the winter season forecasting a dreadful winter, financially, and was recently rescued by a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and a US hedge fund.

The rumours are that the airline will try to shrink to success, cutting aircraft and staff. As a result pilots and cabin crew are leaving Flybe for other airlines. Pilots are also furious that the sale reduced the value of the shares that they had received in lieu of wage increases to almost nothing.

Many people will simply cancel their trips or go by road or rail, but under European air passengers’ rights rules Flybe must provide alternative flights. Every passenger is also entitled to Euros 250 (Pound 215) in compensation under European air passengers’ rights rules � which, if everyone claims, is a sum approaching half a million pounds, once the lost fare revenue is taken into account.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority