Sunday 25 August 2019

Flybe owner tries to recoup funds from credit card firms

Connect Airways paid just £2.2m (€2.6m) for Flybe this year. Photo: PA
Connect Airways paid just £2.2m (€2.6m) for Flybe this year. Photo: PA
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Connect Airways, the group that now includes Dublin-based Stobart Air, is trying to recover tens of millions of pounds from credit card companies that process payments for Flybe, the embattled UK airline that Connect acquired in March.

A cash crunch at Flybe in the months before its takeover was exacerbated when credit card companies processing bookings for future flights started retaining significantly more of that cash as security because of Flybe's increasingly precarious position. That "materially and rapidly weakened" Flybe's unrestricted cash position, said Stobart Group at the time.

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Stobart Air operates the Aer Lingus Regional service on a franchise basis.

US private equity firm Cyrus Capital Partners owns 40pc of Connect Airways, while Stobart Group owns 30pc. Virgin Travel Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Atlantic, owns the remainder.

Connect Airways paid just £2.2m (€2.6m) for Flybe and pledged to inject as much as £100m (€117m) into the carrier to keep it in the air.

Irish Independent

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