Feb. 17 (UPI) — British regional airline Flybmi announced that it has canceled operations of all flights and filed for administration, known in the United States as bankruptcy.
The airline, which operated 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities, said Saturday it was affected by uncertainty due to Brexit and rises in fuel and carbon costs due to the European Union’s decision to exclude Britain from the Emissions Trading Scheme.
“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive program of funding into the business, despite investment totaling over [$51 million] in the last six years,” said British Midland Regional Limited, which operates Flybmi. “We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.”
Flybmi informed customers that all customers set to travel with the company will need to rebook flights with an alternative airline.
The company advised customers who booked directly with Flybmi to contact their credit card company to issue a refund for flights that haven’t yet taken place and those who booked through travel agents or other airlines should contact those outlets.
Flybmi carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights in 2018 and employed 376 employees based in Britain, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.
“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last 6 years,” the company said.
In 2012, International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways, bought British Midland International from Lufthansa in 2012 and sold off the regional subsidiary.