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A pilot lost his job twice in 3 years after airline shuts down for a second time: report

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A Flybe aircraft.Passengers were told overnight not to turn up for their flights the next day after Flybe went into administration on January 28.

Robert Smith/MI News/Getty Images

  • British airline Flybe collapsed for the second time in three years on January 28.
  • There are still job postings for the airline on LinkedIn, some of which are only a week old.
  • One pilot told the BBC he found out he’d lost his job at 4 a.m., after waking up for an early shift.

British airline Flybe was recruiting new workers just one day before it entered administration and shut down last Saturday — marking its second collapse in three years.

Pilot Keith Sivell told BBC Northern Ireland: “We went into administration early on the 28th of January and there was recruitment going on on the 27th — just the day before — for pilots.” Sivell was among the 277 employees that were made redundant, per the BCC. 

The airline also still has five open job listings on LinkedIn, which were posted shortly before its collapse. One ad, for maintenance control technicians, was published just last week.

In the early hours of January 28, Flybe released a notice on its website explaining that the airline was no longer trading and that all flights had been canceled. It reads: “If you are due to fly with Flybe today or in the future, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline.”

According to the BBC report, 2,500 passengers were due to fly with Flybe last Saturday, and around 75,000 passengers had their flights canceled in total. 

Sivell woke up for an early shift at 4 a.m. on January 28 and saw an influx of messages about Flybe’s collapse. He had lost his job. The pilot told BBC Northern Ireland his initial reaction was mostly confusion: “Do I go to the airport? Are flights still going?”

Flybe operated regional flights within the UK, as well as flights to several European destinations. Its previous iteration — which operated under the same name — collapsed in March 2020 after COVID-19 closed international borders and dealt a tough blow to the travel industry.

Some 2,400 employees lost their jobs in the first shut-down, per Reuters.

Sivell told BBC Northern Ireland that staff knew company finances were tight prior to Flybe’s first collapse in 2020, but said this time feels “more like the rug has been pulled from underneath us.”

In October 2020, Flybe was purchased by Thyme Opco, a firm controlled by Cyrus Capital. The airline resumed flights in April 2022 and many of its former employees returned — only to lose their jobs for the second time in three years last weekend. 

Sivell, who had worked at Flybe for seven years before its first collapse, was one of the workers who came back. He told BBC Northern Ireland: “It was a really friendly, family environment, so that’s why I came back.”

Flybe didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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