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-   -   Flybe-V1 (https://www.pprune.org/airlines-airports-routes/637085-flybe-v1.html)

RVF750 25th Jan 2021 18:07

Skipness One Foxtrot

I beg to differ on point 2. The Q400 was neither expensive or unreliable. The problems were over priced leases through other Walker Trust companies, on both Dashes and particularly the Emb175s. the fact they laid off so many line engineers and made preventative maintenance a third party cost in the process and any aircraft if not looked after will become unreliable. When they are the Q400 flies 10 sectors a day so will cycle quickly and will always appear to break more often compared to aircraft that fly 4 sectors.

ETOPS 28th Jan 2021 17:23

New owners granted a UK AOC - will be interesting to see the name on the cert.

Jamie2009 28th Jan 2021 21:16

how do you know?

Albert Hall 28th Jan 2021 22:21

I think that might be fake news (are we still allowed to use that expression in a post-Trump era?) but do not know for sure. The new operator has an aircraft registered to it, but it would be very surprising to see a Type A AOC granted when the only aircraft is in a hangar in Zagreb. That would be breaking new ground indeed.

willy wombat 28th Jan 2021 22:31

Unless the rules have changed off late, you have to conduct a proving flight to be granted an AoC.

dc9-32 29th Jan 2021 05:45

The proving flight does not have to be carried out in the actual aircraft the airline will use in service. A dry leased example is adequate. The CAA is looking at operational competency, not the aircraft itself.

willy wombat 29th Jan 2021 07:11

Agreed but has it been carried out?

gkmeech 29th Jan 2021 08:43

I suspect they have leased the cheapest aircraft they have found, run a few proving flights to get the AOC to release the slots, sell the slots, close the ‘airline’. Hopefully I am not being too cynical.

SWBKCB 29th Jan 2021 09:17

Is there a market for slots at the moment?

willy wombat 29th Jan 2021 12:19

I would have thought that given how avidly the progress of Flybe 2 is followed on pprune that any AOC proving flight would have been commented on here.

compton3bravo 29th Jan 2021 15:49

In my humble opinion anybody thinking of investing in this operation wants there head testing.

cavokblues 29th Jan 2021 17:11

gkmeech

Well, all they have to do first is (aledjelly (sic)) win a court case against IAG to prove they own the slots and then try to flog them in a market where, thanks to CV19, there is probably not much demand for the next year or so.

As business plans go it doesn't seem a huge winner. But maybe a gamble worth taking considering the potential rewards?

biddedout 29th Jan 2021 20:22

Or maybe they just want to start up an airline based on the best of what Flybe had and using the slot portfolio.

Downwind_Left 29th Jan 2021 20:26

cavokblues

But the basis that the slots were granted is quite clear;

1.1.3. Grandfathering rights

644. As a general rule, the slots obtained by a prospective entrant must be operated on the city pair(s) for which they have been requested from IAG and cannot be used on another city pair unless the prospective entrant has operated them during at least six full consecutive IATA seasons ("the Utilisation Period").272 The prospective entrant would be deemed to have grandfathering rights for the slots once appropriate use of the slots has been made on the city pairs at issue, for the Utilisation Period. Once the Utilisation Period has elapsed, the prospective entrant would be entitled to use the slots obtained on the basis of the Commitments exclusively to operate services on any route connecting London with any other part of Europe (including Aberdeen and Edinburgh), or on London-Moscow, London-Cairo and London-Riyadh.

645. During the Utilisation Period, the prospective entrant shall not be entitled to transfer, assign, sell, swap or charge in breach of the Commitments any slots obtained from IAG (except for changes to any such slots which are within the twenty/sixty minutes time window and which have been agreed with the slot coordinator.). Provisions on misuse of slots also apply. In the event of a misuse, the prospective entrant shall have thirty days after such notice to cure the misuse, failure to which gives IAG the right to terminate the agreement and obtain restitution of the slots.
EC Ruling

So for the slots to become Flybe’s they would have to operate them for 6 full concecutive IATA seasons. Flybe were in their 6th season at LHR when they failed, but hadn’t completed the full season. And obviously haven’t operated the slots for the subsequent 2 IATA seasons since.

Even if Flybe’s Administrators win their case, which I have my doubts about, they can only ever be operated to European destinations, plus Moscow, Cairo or Riyadh. So that eliminates their appeal to the types of airline that have recently been spending big money for LHR slots.

Also explains why the old story that Virgin Little Red was just a ruse to get the slots for long haul never held water, and why Virgin never completed the 6 seasons to be able to convert the slots. They would have been able to use them elsewhere, but never outside those geographic restrictions.

Albert Hall 29th Jan 2021 20:58

There is a further important provision in the remedy commitments which is likely to be relevant here. This is not specified as being valid for the Utilisation Period only but rather in perpetuity:


1.3.7 For the avoidance of doubt, the Slot Release Agreement may:
(a) contain prohibitions on the Prospective Entrant transferring its rights to the Slots to a third party, making the Slots available in any way to a third party for the use of that third party, or releasing, surrendering, giving up or otherwise disposing of any rights to the Slots; and/or
(b) provide for reasonable compensation to IAG in ...
I do not know for sure but my guess is that this case surrounds this wording and whether Flybe (or now its Administrators) have or do not have the right to sell the slots after the defined period of operation on the Aberdeen and Edinburgh routes. It suggests not but as it is not totally explicit, it may be possible to run a legal case to that effect. Obviously unless anyone has a copy of it, the Slot Release Agreement might contain some further wording to clear up this position.


cavokblues 29th Jan 2021 23:24

I missed this myself, apologies if common knowledge, but just seen that according to a report by the airline's administrators they were awarded grandathering rights back in August, a decision IAG are challenging.

They state 'The London Heathrow slots were appropriated by International Airlines Group (“IAG”) following the
Company’s insolvency. The Joint Administrators are challenging IAG’s actions in doing so. In
addition, the European Commission granted Flybe grandfathering rights for the London Heathrow
landing slots on 4 August 2020.
In light of the ongoing dispute with IAG, we are unable to comment further on the Company’s
prospects for realising value from this asset at present. However, we will provide creditors with a
further update in the next progress report, including comment on any realisations that may be
available for distribution to the Company’s unsecured creditors.'


So, even if they are successful the administrators sound like they will use any proceeds they may make to cover some of the unpaid debts.

So, it does seem unlikely any revival plan is centred around the Heathrow slots.

https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey...ptember-20.pdf

biddedout 30th Jan 2021 08:39

Slightly ironic that BA is getting so precious about these slots when over the years, they have bought up regional airlines, relieved them of their Heathrow slots and then dumped them. Some of these airlines eventually ended up as parts of Flybe. . Brymon, Manx, BRAL etc.

Snr 30th Jan 2021 09:15

Downwind_Left

Nice analysis. To give a different spin on it though. If Flybe/Flybe2.0 were to strike a deal with a major European airline there could be some tactical manipulation of these slots. Say KLM were to buy the slots, which as you say can only be used on European routes. Well KLM already have LHR slots for their AMS flights, so they use the new "Flybe" slots on the LHR-AMS route, satisfying the European requirement, and then they are free to sell their original slot to anyone they like, for instance a LH carrier who flies into Heathrow.

Of course this all depends on whether there are restrictions around the existing European slots that airlines like KLM/AF/LH etc already have.

harriewillem 12th Feb 2021 08:47

UK CAA to consider revoking flybe.'s OL, route rights https://www.ch-aviation.com/images/s...c2c180907f.jpg

The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to revoke all remaining of flybe's remaining certificates, including its Operating Licence (OL) and all associated scheduled and charter route authorities.

The hearing has been tentatively scheduled for February 26, 2021.

Following flybe.'s collapse in March 2020, the regulator initiated proceedings to revoke the OL and route authorities in mid-April 2020. It ultimately withdrew the decision due to a retroactive change in European Union laws, allowing the dormant carrier to retain the licence.

However, following its acquisition of flybe., Cyrus Capital-backed Thyme Opco applied for a new OL and route authorities under its own name on December 1, 2020. Although it pledged to restart the regional carrier under the old brand, it now appears that it will do so under an entirely new certificate.

As of December 16, 2020, flybe. no longer had a valid Air Operator's Certificate (AOC). It is understood that Thyme Opco is also seeking its own AOC ahead of launch. The UK CAA did not respond to ch-aviation's request for confirmation.

Meanwhile, Shannon-based MRO specialist Atlantic Aviation Group has acquired Flybe Aviation Services' former maintenance station at Brize Norton airport. While the wholly-owned flybe. subsidiary had its main facility at
Exeter airport, serving commercial aircraft for the airline and third-parties, its Brize Norton base was exclusively dedicated to the maintenance of A400Ms for the Royal Air Force Brize Norton). Following the acquisition, the unit was renamed AAG Defence Services.

oldlag53 12th Feb 2021 15:21

Just a bit of history for those interested. I understand that lots of people blame JF for starting the rot and certainly his salary compared to WW's at the time was ridiculous. However, I first knew him way back in 1988 at Air UK when he was a terrific boss (he was sales and marketing director), he knew how to form a loyal and motivated team around him. Even then though, there were strange signs - one of my responsibilities was producing a paper timetable (no internet!), and one day he called me into his office. We then sat there for the afternoon with him fiddling around with the fleet using a piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser! Even then I knew that this was not the right way to set up your route network.

Eventually the dreaded company politics intervened and he got shafted. A few months later he popped up at JEA as sales and marketing director. Having been shafted myself some years later, I ended up at JEA too with a number of Air UK refugees. But the atmosphere had changed - his word was law, no real discussion, and all the key decisions were made by him alone. The thread has mentioned LCY ops - well I was called to a meeting to discuss starting up there. I was there because I had had direct experience of marketing LCY routes at Air UK some years earlier. He asked my opinion and I gave what I thought was a well-reasoned talk on why it very definitely was not a good idea to start LCY ops.

A few days later it was announced that we were going to LCY! I was amazed, wondering why I had been invited to the meeting in the first place. Shortly before I left (got pushed out really) we were faffing around for a new name, which was urgently required. After discussions with BA we became British European Airways. For my sins I wangled the code BEE out of ? IATA (can't remember). After that it evolved into the absolutely awful Flybe. I had left by that time. After some manoeuvrings JF became MD, then CEO, etc. The reason for the airline starting to go down the chute was just hubris - the usual emotion that hits people when they get into an undisputed leader position.

Looking from a distance (I'm now retired) it's all very sad. Just one bonkers decision after another, with no pushback from anybody. The board were toothless as well, consisting mainly of Walker accountants and beancounters with not a clue how to run an airline. And of course, as usual, it's the hardworking and loyal staff who are the losers while the top dogs walk away with a bunch of money...


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