The British regional airline has been struggling for a long time and says that it has been pushed over the edge by Brexit. Recent problems include an increase in fuel and environmental costs. The latter follows the European Union’s decision to exclude British companies from full participation in European emissions trading.
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union by 29 March, has other consequences. The uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process meant that the airline could not conclude valuable contracts in Europe and there was no longer any confidence that it could continue to serve destinations within the European Union. These factors have undermined its efforts to return to profitability.
Flybmi, headquartered in the English East Midlands regional airport, employs 376 people in the UK and operates in Belgium, Germany and Sweden. The airline used 17 aircraft on routes to 25 European cities. It operated flights for Lufthansa, Air France and Brussels Airlines, among others, under lease and code-share agreements.
Flybmi recommends that customers who have booked through Brussels Airlines, another company or a travel agency contact them directly. Customers who have booked with flybmi should contact their bank or credit card company for a refund. Customers with travel insurance can contact their insurer.
Flybmi was commissioned by Brussels Airlines to operate flights from Zaventem to Hanover and Turin. This was done through a so-called wet lease agreement, whereby Brussels Airlines leased one aircraft from flybmi, an Embraer 145, with the British company also supplying the crew. The contract was to have been valid until the end of March.
According to Brussels Airlines, the flight to Turin and Hanover, which were planned for Sunday have been cancelled. “We have already contacted the passengers whose contact details we have,” says spokeswoman Wencke Lemmes. Together, the airline and passenger will work to find an alternative to getting to their destination.
In addition, Brussels Airlines shared flights with flybmi, using the same flight number to the English city of Bristol. These flights were only planned for Monday. “We will now look as soon as possible at what alternatives there are for these passengers,” says Lemmes.