Thousands of holiday flights axed as airline Flybmi goes into administration at start of half term
The East Midlands-based company said this evening it has suspended all operations after running out of cash.
The airline, which flew 17 planes on routes to 25 European cities, said all flights were cancelled from Saturday.
Flybmi's website was still taking bookings early on Saturday evening ahead of the announcement.
Passengers said their plans were thrown into chaos when flights were cancelled minutes before take off.
Flybmi employed 376 staff based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.
Affected passengers have been told to contact their travel agents or insurance and credit card companies.
Difficulties have included increases in fuel and carbon costs, as well as challenges "particularly those created by Brexit", a statement on the airline's website said.
Have your Flybmi flights been cancelled? Email The Sun Online at [email protected], call 0207 782 4368 or WhatsApp 07810 791 502.
Passengers have taken to Twitter asking the company what to do about cancelled flights.
@RA_Edwards tweeted: "Great start to our holiday; en route with @Charlot53066691 and the family by taxi to Heathrow as our @flybmi from Bristol to Munich (which had previously been changed from Southampton) was cancelled with no explanation after we had gone through security!"
@LaurMase said: "@flybmi meant to be flying tomorrow. Can’t check in & says on stand by! Booked flights a year ago what an absolute joke #awful service."
What are my rights if my flights are cancelled?
Customers booked on any Flybmi flight need to contact the airline or holiday website they’ve booked with.
If they booked with an agent or holiday website and they are ATOL protected then they’ll get flights rebooked/refunds.
Otherwise they should contact insurance or try and get refund via credit card firm or direct debit.
Those who booked with a credit card are covered under the Consumer Credit Act, as long as they spent over £100.
Direct debit bookings may be refunded under Chargeback but you’ll need to check with bank/card issuer.
If you’ve booked a hotel or accommodation then insurance may cover a refund.
A spokesperson for Flybmi said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today.
"The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.
"These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit.
"Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe.
"Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented."
British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) general secretary Brian Strutton said: "The collapse of FlyBMI is devastating news for all employees.
"Regrettably Balpa had no warning or any information from the company at all.
"Our immediate steps will be to support FlyBMI pilots and explore with the directors and administrators whether their jobs can be saved."
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