The sudden collapse of the British airline Flybmi on Saturday left customers stranded throughout Europe and unsure of what to do.
According to the BBC, shortly after news of the airline’s collapse broke, passengers received a text message that read “URGENT: Important message for Flybmi customers. All flights are cancelled. Please go to www.flybmi.com for further details. Thank you.” That website instructed customers to contact their credit card companies, travel insurance providers, or third-party booking partners to recoup their lost fares and re-book on alternative flights.
Flybmi offered flights to 25 European cities and operated 17 aircraft. After Flybmi’s cancellations, rival carrier Ryanair started offering “rescue fares” on several of Flybmi’s routes, and EasyJet offered special deals for Flymbmi passengers stranded at Bristol or Charles de Gaulle airports. Loganair, a regional operator that was formerly a Flybmi competitor, has agreed to take over the defunct airline’s flights from Aberdeen to Bristol, Oslo, and Esbjerg, Denmark starting March 4th.
Flybmi cited uncertainty over Brexit and rising fuel costs as the causes of its collapse, but it had been reporting losses, and its investors were providing a subsidy of £13 per customer since 2012.
Flybmi customers weren’t the only ones affected by the airline’s sudden collapse. The competitor regional airline Flybe was forced to take to Twitter to reiterate that it remained operational, telling its customers, “Flybe has nothing to do with Flybmi and our flights continue to operate as normal.”