Flybe latest – councils remain ‘fully committed’ to working with airline

PUBLISHED: 10:23 14 January 2020

A Flybe flight departs. Picture: Pete Byrne/PA Wire

A Flybe flight departs. Picture: Pete Byrne/PA Wire

The district and county councils are ‘fully committed’ to working with Flybe in the wake of rumours over the airline’s future.

It was reported on Monday (January 13) that company bosses had held crunch talks with the government in a bid to save the Exeter-based airline.

However, Flybe has said it continues to focus on providing 'great service and connectivity' for its customers.

East Devon District Council and Devon County Council issued a joint statement on the future of Flybe with Exeter City Council and the Heart of the South West - a voluntary partnership between local authorities and businesses.

It said: "As one of our largest private sector employers we are fully committed to working with the company to help support it through this difficult period.

"Alongside being a major employer the company plays a key role in helping to provide regional connectivity across the UK and in to Europe. "This includes flights from Exeter to places such as Manchester, London City and Paris.

"The impact of losing these service would significantly impact on our regional economy; as well as those regions which the services links us to.

"We continue to engage with central government and Exeter Airport to explore all potential avenues.

"We are aware that certain aspects of national policy, notably the Air Passenger Duty regime in relation to domestic flights, has a significant impact on the company's business model.

"Whilst this is beyond our direct control we look forward to working with government departments to help ensure that there is a positive framework for the company, which will rebrand as Virgin Connect later this year, to move forward."

East Devon MP Simon Jupp tweeted on Monday that he had held discussions with Flybe and the Secretary of State for business energy and industrial strategy Andrea Leadsom over the rumours.

He said: "Flybe is a major part of life in Devon, providing vital jobs and transport which I will always stand up for."

A spokesman for Flybe said: "Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned.

"We don't comment on rumour or speculation."

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