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Flybe: business and political leaders...

 warn of severe impact on regions

Exeter-based Flybe operates nearly 40% of the country’s domestic flights and there were fears over the impact of its collapse from around the country. In the south-west, Flybe’s failure was met with alarm that there could be substantial ripple effects financially.

A huge pack of cards has just fallen over,” said Tim Jones, chairman of the South West Business Council. Jones said that if the services the airport provided were not replaced quickly – and lost jobs restored as well – the result could be losses of up to £600m a year to the regional economy.

Exeter airport – where all but one of the scheduled departures on Thursday was supposed to be a Flybe service – is an important hub not just for holidaymakers but for business people who use it to hop to London and other major cities in the UK and Europe. It is also used by people flying in from other parts of the UK to work on infrastructure projects for a week at a time, such as the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant site on the Somerset coast.

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