Flights from Aberdeen axed as airline collapses – but new operator steps in

© DC ThomsonAberdeen International Airport in Dyce
Aberdeen International Airport in Dyce

Flights from Aberdeen were abruptly axed at the weekend after an airline went into administration.

Flybmi – which operated routes between the city and Esbjerg in Denmark, Oslo in Norway and Bristol – announced that it had gone into administration on Saturday.

The airline blamed Brexit as one of the reasons for its collapse, saying that administration had been “the only course of action left open”.

There was some relief, however, when sister company Loganair yesterday stepped in to secure the future of the routes starting from Monday, March 4.

Managing director Jonathan Hinkles said that adopting the routes would represent a “significant expansion” of its base in the north-east.

He added: “It’s always really sad to see an airline go out of business, and our thoughts are with all those affected – particularly staff members.

“We’re working on employment opportunities for pilots, cabin crew and engineering support staff to strengthen the Loganair team.”

An 11.05am flight to Oslo and 3.35pm flight to Bristol were both cancelled yesterday, while two flights due to arrive in Aberdeen from Oslo and Bristol were also scrapped.

Both Loganair and Flybmi are owned by Airline Investments Limited, which was previously based in Aberdeen.

Flybmi operated 17 aircraft on routes between 25 European cities, with the East Midlands-based firm employing 376 people in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.

Customers who had booked flights with the firm have been advised to contact their credit or debit card provider, or their travel agent, to get a refund.

A Flybmi spokesman said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement.

“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.

“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last six years.”

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Air Line Pilots Association (Balpa), pledged to assist those left jobless.