This will be a devastating blow for everyone working for Flybe- government needs a plan

4 March 2020

Prospect has criticised the government for its response to the collapse of Flybe, arguing that there needs to be a coherent plan to secure job and transport links.

In a statement in the House of Commons on Thursday, Transport Minister Kelly Tolhurst MP said that the government  was ‘ready to help’ but failed to set out a strategy.


Mike Clancy, Prospect general secretary said:

“Flybe staff listening to the government response this morning will have heard little to reassure them that government has a grip on this crisis.

“In January the Transport Secretary claimed government had helped secure the future of Flybe “for years to come” but less than two months later it has collapsed while he was jetting off to America.

“Government have been caught on the hop and urgently need work with business and unions to come up with a plan to secure jobs, keep routes open and stop any knock-on effects to regional airports and other airlines.

“A commitment to more public service obligation routes and a reform of air passenger duty have to be on the table along with direct support to make sure that vital local links are maintained.”


Prospect is calling for:

  • Fast action to keep routes open, including looking at making more public service obligation (PSO) routes
  • Focus on airports where Flybe was large % of total movements to stop knock on effect on regional airports escalating and impacting on other airlines. There could also be significant effect on the workforce in airports, maintenance supplier, air traffic control etc.
  • Any action in budget that can help airlines struggling with COVID bookings crisis in the short term to get through next few months and look at reform of APD, although APD change on its own will not be enough now Flybe has gone.
  • Convening discussions with Unions, airports and airlines about how jobs can be saved and redeployment achieved


Questions for government to answer

  • Is the government hiding behind state-aid rules? When Thomas Cook collapsed, Condor it’s German subsidiary was saved by the German government and a sale to Polish national airline LOT has now been agreed
  • Has the government been too slow in putting in place the measures it promised earlier in the year?
  • What conversations have they had with other airlines over the last few months or are these conversations only happening now?
  • Given reports that the pensions scheme is based in the Isle of Man, what protections can the government put in place for savers and pensioners in this scheme?