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Flybmi blames Brexit for collapse

But consumer rights watchdog asks if company continued to sell tickets after knowing it was doomed

AN AIRLINE suspected of continuing to sell tickets just hours before it went bust has blamed Brexit for its troubles.

Midlands-based airline Flybmi was reportedly still taking bookings hours before it declared that it was going into administration and cancelled flights.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) said the company gave no hint to staff over what was about to happen.

Union general secretary Brian Strutton said: “The collapse of Flybmi is devastating news for all employees.

“Regrettably Balpa had no warning or any information from the company at all.

“Our immediate steps will be to support Flybmi pilots and explore with the directors and administrators whether their jobs can be saved.”

Consumer advocacy group Which? travel editor Rory Boland said: “Some customers have claimed that tickets were being sold in the hours before the airline went bust, knowing full well those tickets would never be honoured, and passengers will rightly be outraged if this is proved to be the case.”

The company asserted in a statement that it had faced problems “created by Brexit.”

It said: “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” (a controversial policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by allowing companies to trade unused emissions permits). “These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit.

“We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.”

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