All Flybe flights have been cancelled as the British regional airline Flybe ceased trading on Saturday.
This is the second time in two years the low cost carrier collapsed.
The airline announced its closure shortly after 3 a.m. local time on Twitter, saying David Pike and Mike Pink had been appointed joint administrators of Flybe Limited.
“All Flybe flights from [and] to the UK are cancelled [and] will not be rescheduled,” the airline said, urging those with booked Flybe flights not to travel to airports.
Three early Flybe flights from Belfast, two from Birmingham, and two from Amsterdam were all showing as “scheduled on time” on Flybe’s online flight status live tracker at 5 a.m.
But the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had urged ticket-holders to instead check its website for the latest information.
“It is always sad to see an airline enter administration and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be distressing for all of its employees and customers,” CAA consumer director Paul Smith said in a statement.
“We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to go to the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled. For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s website or our Twitter feed for more information,” he added.
In a later statement, Flybe said it’s “unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers,” advising customers to monitor the CAA website for further information.
Those who booked from an intermediary were urged to go to the relevant booking or travel agent about alternative arrangements or claims.
A passenger whose Flybe flight was cancelled with just three hours’ notice said the situation was “outrageous.”
Freddy McBride, 61, from Balham in south London, was due to fly with his wife from Heathrow to Belfast on Saturday morning but had to rebook with Aer Lingus.
“I got up at the crack of dawn, packed and we couldn’t check in online last night so I thought we’d do it this morning,” he told the PA news agency.
“I left my wife to do it while I got the train. I got up at six and left the house before seven. I got to Hatton Central and I checked my email and it says they’ve gone into administration. It’s just outrageous,” he said.
He said he had to ask his wife to book from home while he was “running around the terminals trying to sort things out.”
“When I get on the plane I’ll be relieved. They allowed us to book about a day or two ago. It’s not good, it’s not good,” he said.
According to Matthew Hall, chief executive of Belfast City Airport, Flybe operated 10 flights to and from the City, eight of which are currently served by alternated carriers from the airport.
He offered his thoughts to Flybe employees and passengers in light of the “disappointing and unexpected news,” and urged affected passengers not the travel to the airport and monitor the CAA website instead.
The government said that its “immediate priority” would be to support anyone trying to get home and those who have lost their jobs.
“This remains a challenging environment for airlines, both old and new, as they recover from the pandemic, and we understand the impact this will have on Flybe’s passengers and staff,” a spokesperson said.
“Our immediate priority is to support people travelling home and employees who have lost their jobs.”
The spokesperson said the CAA is providing advice to passengers while “Jobcentre Plus, through its Rapid Response Service, stands ready to support any employee affected.”
It comes after Flybe returned to the skies in April following an earlier collapse.
It returned with a plan to operate up to 530 flights per week across 23 routes, serving airports such as Belfast City, Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Heathrow, and Leeds Bradford.
Flybe was pushed into administration in March 2020 with the loss of 2,400 jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed large parts of the travel market.
Before it went bust it flew the most UK domestic routes between airports outside London.
Its business and assets were purchased in April 2021 by Thyme Opco, which is linked to U.S. hedge fund Cyrus Capital.
Thyme Opco was renamed Flybe Limited.
It had been based at Birmingham Airport.
PA Media contributed to this report.