Flybe, what's really going on?

So Flybe are requesting help with respect to being let off the hook of APD Air Passenger Duty. Now given that the APD is collected within the ticket prices and the agent merely becomes an agency for collecting taxes, this can't be the whole story. I quickly looked up Flybe as I sorta remembered a Link between BA etc but I have been out of circulation for a while now. But it doesn't ring true. Progressively year on year Flybe has been picking up passengers, as much by absorption so revenue can't be an issue to that extent. Are we looking at over capacity, slot prices or something like that. I don't think we are being told the truth. Would anyone in the know care to explain why an airline such as this is problematic or are we back to Laker?
 
I have always understood that in a country operating a free enterprise, capitalist economy. failing businesses were allowed to fail. Indeed, it is necessary that this should be allowed to take place.

As far as I am aware there are no special social necessity considerations that affect Flybe.

What is the problem?
 
I have always understood that in a country operating a free enterprise, capitalist economy. failing businesses were allowed to fail. Indeed, it is necessary that this should be allowed to take place.

As far as I am aware there are no special social necessity considerations that affect Flybe.

What is the problem?
Business relies on transport infrastructure. If it fails what do you replace it with?
Presumably XR wouldn't replace it.
 
Thanks missed that.
I have always understood that in a country operating a free enterprise, capitalist economy. failing businesses were allowed to fail. Indeed, it is necessary that this should be allowed to take place.

As far as I am aware there are no special social necessity considerations that affect Flybe.

What is the problem?
the Problem is that where the government must maintain some form of connection, because they are commercially not viable, there’s a balance to be struck. But it re ally is the nub if the problem that the Greens won’t address. Moreover frequently just having a car is not a solution. That was a problem faced by bus operator let alone those cut out by the Beeching plans the legacy of which is coming home to roost with HS2 . There is Green and then there is Luddism.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Far too responsible answers. It's because Boris is looking beyond Politics and his next Director role :)
 
the Problem is that where the government must maintain some form of connection, because they are commercially not viable
I think that probably relates to rural bus and rail services rather than domestic and European short-haul air travel.
As far as I am aware, OAPs and single mothers do not use Flybe for shopping trips or hospital appointments.
 
I think that probably relates to rural bus and rail services rather than domestic and European short-haul air travel.
As far as I am aware, OAPs and single mothers do not use Flybe for shopping trips or hospital appointments.
Don’t be too sure about that
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Far too responsible answers. It's because Boris is looking beyond Politics and his next Director role :)
I think Boris is signalling his government is going to be business friendly.

Although he might have been better advised to pick less of a lame duck to demonstrate it with.

Wordsmith
 
I have always understood that in a country operating a free enterprise, capitalist economy. failing businesses were allowed to fail. Indeed, it is necessary that this should be allowed to take place.

As far as I am aware there are no special social necessity considerations that affect Flybe.

What is the problem?
Indeed, business Darwinism at work. Unless, of course, there are former MP's on the board, or some serving MP's who are working as non-exec directors to supplement their meager parliamentary wage.
 
I think that probably relates to rural bus and rail services rather than domestic and European short-haul air travel.
As far as I am aware, OAPs and single mothers do not use Flybe for shopping trips or hospital appointments.
To go from Belfast to Southampton Bristol, Exeter, etc, would take about 5 light years by bus currently.

I've dozens of ex workmates, who use Flybe weekly, to enable them to work in Plymouth Naval yard.

There's 2.7 million people who use Belfast City Airport and 90% of those flights are Flybe..
 
I think it's all to do with where Flybe flies to. The problem with the larger airlines at LHR, LGW and MAN is their feeder structure. BA, and certainly VS doesn't have anything like the feeder structure that the likes of Delta has. Even Delta, AA and UAL have a sort of mixed bag. They have associated companies, eg Compass, Endeavor etc, that fly to the smaller airports from the hubs, using smaller aircraft (eg ERJs, CRJs) that carry the livery of the Sponsor company, like "Delta Connection" or "United Express". Looks and smells like a Delts aircraft, but isn't. Without those routes, the hub/spoke model doesn't work so well, because you've lost your spokes.

LHR/LGW/MAN is a little different in that you can get there by train, bus, car etc within a couple hours for the majority of the population. But for the extremities, it's necessary to have flights to get anywhere in anything like a sensible timeframe.

If HMG let Flybe fail, it would be a political gift to the Opposition, because they'd be seen as "Southeast-centric" again.

Then again if it failed, it would just open up a vacuum to be filled by someone else. And fail, probably. Small airlines just don't seem to do well. The big boys push them out. Oh look :)
 
W
To go from Belfast to Southampton Bristol, Exeter, etc, would take about 5 light years by bus currently.

I've dozens of ex workmates, who use Flybe weekly, to enable them to work in Plymouth Naval yard.

There's 2.7 million people who use Belfast City Airport and 90% of those flights are Flybe..
What happened before Flybe, then?

The present Flybe setup is either i) an unsustainable convenience for a few or else ii) there are sufficient load factors to allow it to continue as a self-sustaining going concern but it has been poorly managed.

In either scenario, the prevailing situation is not deserving of public subsidy.

If it is the second scenario, its natural demise would allow a more efficient company or ownership to run the profitable routes as going concerns. The history of Flybe indicates that this avenue has already been explored and has failed. That does not mean that others should not try again. But it must be entirely at their own (or their shareholders') risk.

That's how business works.
 
W


What happened before Flybe, then?

The present Flybe setup is either i) an unsustainable convenience for a few or else ii) there are sufficient load factors to allow it to continue as a self-sustaining going concern but it has been poorly managed.

In either scenario, the prevailing situation is not deserving of public subsidy.

If it is the second scenario, its natural demise would allow a more efficient company or ownership to run the profitable routes as going concerns. The history of Flybe indicates that this avenue has already been explored and has failed. That does not mean that others should not try again. But it must be entirely at their own (or their shareholders') risk.

That's how business works.
Before FlyBe, Belfast and other regional airports were mostly served by BA Connect, which themselves were a result of various mergers and route acquisitions. British Airways couldn't make money on these routes, so "sold" it to FlyBe. I say "sold", but I think they in fact paid FlyBe to take it off their hands, and continued to help fund it for some time.

I'm not sure that your two options are the only two conceivable, and I smell a huge amount of political involvement around FlyBe and its predecessors in the domestic network.

FlyBe don't have any airline competitors in most of their domestic routes, and mostly compete with road or rail transport.
 

NSP

LE
Bloke "on the inside" was telling JO'B this morning that several Flybe routes are considered critical to the economic welfare of the country and are thus subsidised. HMG actually pays Maybe to operate them - citing the London-Newquay route as an example. Probably because a wedge of city high-ups did their escape-to-the-country thing into the south-west, amongst other reasons to have a fast link between the capital and the peninsular.

If a lot of these routes are deemed vital to economic development, either nationally or regionally or both then it would be stupid for HMG not to ensure the company operating them keeps afloat (or airborne, even) - especially a govt recently elected in part on it's stewardship of and pledges on the economy.
 
What's this thing with the importance of the Newquay - London route? The nearest conurbation of any size is Plymouth (which, it seems, was unable to support its own airport. Plymouth City Airport closed about ten years ago).

Newquay is quite a titchy place with nothing much in the way of an industrial or populous hinterland. Unlike many places in that part of the world, it also survived Beeching's scythe and still has its own rail connection.

Is there a particularly effective surfing lobby in Westminster or something?
 

Bob Upndown

War Hero
Willie Walsh has pointed out that Flybe are owned by a consortium including Virgin/Delta.
He argues that Delta could bail Flybe out on their own. Flybe rival calls bailout 'misuse of public funds'
Some who have managed to stay the course of my rambling missives may recall I spent 10 years at VS.

My ‘’inside source’’ has confirmed what I suspected as I know both VS & DL are incredibly cash poor. Due diligence was not completed correctly during the initial overtures to BE and neither organisation is in any position to fund anything but their own operations right now.
 

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