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Fresh hope that stricken airline Flybe which used to operate out of Inverness Airport could be back next year after administrators strike deal

By Ian Duncan

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The collapse of FlyBe has been raised in parliament.
The collapse of FlyBe has been raised in parliament.

An Inverness business leader has welcomed news that UK airline Flybe could be flying again next year – months after it went under.

The Exeter-based operator, which used to fly to and from Inverness Airport, went bust in early March due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on passenger demand – its routes have since been run by Loganair.

However this week administrators announced a deal had been struck with investors to restart the airline.

Stewart Nicol, the chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news and said: “I think it’s positive – it’s a strong regional airline for the UK.”

He said that, due to the current Covid-19 situation, the sector would continue to be challenged. “The fact that Loganair has picked up the Flybe routes will be positive for the Highlands and Islands,” he said.

A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) said it was too early to comment.

Flybe’s assets have been sold to Thyme Opco, a company affiliated to Cyrus Capital, which had helped fund the Virgin Atlantic-led rescue attempt last year.

According to EY, the administrators, the deal means Flybe could return to the skies over the UK in early 2021. EY is planning to work with both the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the new owners to prepare for the return.

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