WORLD UK airlines struggle under shadow of no-deal Brexit

WORLD

UK airlines struggle under shadow of no-deal Brexit

By Qiang Wei | People's Daily app

21:28, February 20, 2019

UK regional airline flybmi has collapsed, becoming the second UK airline to close within 5 months.

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A British Midlands plane takes off from London Heathrow Airport, on March 25, 2010. (File photo: VCG)

Flybmi's operator, British Midland Regional, said the closure mainly resulted from increased costs, but it also said that the uncertainty of the Brexit process made it hard to shape current trading and future prospects.

The airline has gone into administration, a British form of bankruptcy.

According to Financial Times, the Labour MP and shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald urged the Department for Transport to settle an alternative plan to cover the routes that flybmi used to operate.

The city of Derry in northwest Northern Ireland relied on flybmi to connect with London. According to the BBC, emergency talks are underway to review options for resuming Derry-London service.

Last year, UK airline Cello Aviation announced its bankruptcy. In October 2017, the UK's Monarch Airlines went bankrupt. Another low-cost flight carrier, Flybe, which is not related to Flybmi, is struggling to find a buyer to save it from a bleak business outlook.

The aviation industry is among many economic sectors that are severely affected by Brexit, especially the growing possibility of a no-deal Brexit. For most UK airlines, agreements related to flying are still unclear. This makes it hard for them to make plans for post-Brexit business.

Furthermore, larger European airlines compete for low prices, putting pressure on profit margins of low cost flight companies. Rising fuel prices and an unfavorable exchange rate are also making things tough for smaller airlines. According to Bloomberg, the expected net profit in 2019 for each passenger that European air companies carry is one-third of North American airlines.

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