Regional airline brand Flybe looks set for a come back next year, with the sale of the carrier’s business and assets to Thyme Opco Ltd.
The carrier had managed to avoid collapse in January after it had been announced that it had reached an agreement with the UK government, leading to consortium owners Connect Airways to inject further cash into the airline.
But continued uncertainty over the details of this agreement, along with a downturn in trading as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, led to the carrier grounding all flights.
Administrators EY said that Thyme Opco Ltd had agreed to acquire Flybe’s brand, intellectual property, stock and equipment, with the deal “expected to allow the Flybe business to re-start operations as a regional airline in the UK under the Flybe brand in early 2021”.
Thyme Opco Ltd is affiliated with investment adviser Cyrus Capital, which itself was part of Connect Airways consortium.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to relaunch Flybe,” a spokesperson for Thyme Opco Ltd said.
“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.”
Several airlines have taken over routes which had ceased following the grounding of Flybe, including Scottish independent carrier Loganair, and the relaunched Eastern Airways, which had formerly operated under a franchise agreement with Flybe.
At this stage the Flybe website continues to show a holding page directing visitors to administrators EY.