My letter published in the Yorkshire Post 18th January 2020
As a regular Flybe passenger I think they provide an excellent service.
The demand for their services is so great (8 million passengers per year) that I suspect their dire financial situation is down to poor management and it is clear that competing airlines cannot wait to take over their potentially profitable routes.
I am not privy to the rescue plan but I believe it to be a “time to pay” arrangement whereby debts to HMRC are rescheduled over an agreed period of time.
Such an arrangement is currently enjoyed by numerous businesses whilst many others are simply in arrears with money due to HMRC. If, as many commentators say, Flybe are getting State aid for the overdue £100 million then they have been for some considerable time so why complain now?
Only if this debt is forgiven will it become State aid but there is no suggestion of that. In fact a time to pay arrangement actually confirms the liability to HMRC thereby facilitating eventual recovery.
Surprisingly, it is now being claimed that this so called State aid is also contributing to global emissions. If Flybe are grounded how else will travellers reach their destinations on time? The need to travel will not simply disappear.
Rail transport has been suggested as an alternative but I am unable to find such an operator to take me to my destination across the Irish Sea next week.
If Flybe had been grounded many other businesses would have suffered through no fault of their own. Give Flybe a chance to improve or change senior management and if this fails allocate their routes to a successful operator without disruption to passengers.
The efforts to cut carbon emissions will continue regardless.