Flybe Cancels Flights Due to Pilot Shortages Following Buyout

(Bloomberg) -- Flybe Group Plc canceled some flights due to pilot shortages and a reorganization of the network following the U.K. airline’s recent takeover by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.

About 95 percent of scheduled journeys are running as normal, Chief Executive Officer Christine Ourmières-Widener said in a video posted on Twitter. Other reasons for the short-notice announcement include seasonal factors such as Easter holidays, while the airline has “identified several mitigating actions,” it added in a separate statement.

The dropped flights come about a month after investors approved an offer by the Connect Airways consortium, which includes Stobart Group Ltd. and Cyrus Capital as well as Virgin. Flybe had run into financial trouble due to fuel costs and declining fares on its routes, which typically connect smaller U.K. cities.

The carrier has closed two of its bases in Cardiff and Doncaster, according to the British Airline Pilots Association. The union “will be working closely with the airline to ensure pilots’ jobs are protected,” General Secretary Brian Strutton said in emailed comments.

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