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British airline Flybmi blames Brexit as it announces it will cease operations

The airline had been unable to secure post-Brexit flying contracts in Europe.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

BRITISH REGIONAL AIRLINE Flybmi has announced it will cease operations and file for administration, blaming spikes in fuel, carbon costs and uncertainty over Brexit.

Parent company British Midland Regional Limited said it had cancelled all flights with immediate effect, and would not be able to purchase, rearrange or reschedule any bookings on behalf of customers.

Flybmi, based in the East Midlands region of England, operated routes to 25 European cities, and had 376 employees based in Britain, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today,” a company spokesperson said in a statement posted on its website.

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process,” the spokesperson added.

Flybmi had been unable to secure post-Brexit flying contracts in Europe and feared it may not be able to continue serving destinations on the continent after Britain leaves the EU on 29 March, according to the statement.

“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 £40 million in the last six years,” it said.

The airline, which said it carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights last year, operated under codeshare agreements with a host of European partners, including Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Air France.

Its flights operated out of Aberdeen, Bristol, East Midlands, London Stansted, Newcastle and Derry in Britain as well as a host of European airports, including Frankurt, Milan Bergamo, Munich, and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

In lengthy advice posted online, it told customers not to travel to airports unless they have re-booked flights with alternative providers.

It advised them to seek refunds for their cancelled reservations from credit card companies, booking websites or travel insurance providers.

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