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Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Collapse of Flybmi is 'only the beginning'

The collapse of Flybmi is 'only the beginning', an airline body has warned as it called for urgent action to finalise Brexit aviation plans.

The European Regions Airline Association says unless the European Commission and UK Department of Transport act now, there will be more casualties.

It says the challenges caused by Brexit are 'unsurmountable' and the collapse of Flybmi shows airlines have not had time to prepare, plan or react.

ERA director general Montserrat Barriga said the disastrous consequences for the aviation industry, both in the UK and the rest of Europe, will be significant unless the uncertainty is ended.

"I was deeply saddened to learn that ERA member British Midland Regional Limited, which operated as flybmi, had filed for administration on 16 February," she said.

"Rising fuel and carbon costs coupled with the uncertainty, unfairness and challenges surrounding Brexit has led to the airline ceasing all operations.

"I will once again be in direct contact with the European Commission and the UK Department of Transport, as a matter of urgency, to persuade them to act immediately. It is imperative that they put in place a comprehensive agreement for aviation that mirrors the current situation with the UK as the highest priority, and that they reach a solution that will allow airlines to continue operating as they do today, enabling Europeans to continue benefiting from affordable and stress-free travel.

"This is a sad day for European aviation and a clear example of the impact of a too long uncertainty surrounding Brexit."

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