Flybe has gone bust taking with it 2,000 jobs after a failed rescue plan – but what are the rights of those who have flights booked with the budget airline?
The Exeter-based firm has gone under despite attempts by the Government to save the embattled airline.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced the airline was no longer operating just hours after its last flights landed – with reports of planes being grounded, and passengers turned away.
Insiders have blamed the coronavirus outbreak as the final nail for the struggling firm.
Travellers with advanced bookings are now facing the prospect of losing money in the collapse.
The firm carries 8 million passengers every year – so what are your rights now the company has gone under?
***Do you have a Flybe flight, or work for the company? Tell us your story at [email protected]***
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If your flights were booked directly with Flybe, you are not entitled to a refund, says Travel Supermarket.
However, if your flights cost more than £100 and you paid with a credit card there is hope.
You will be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and can claim your cash back.
And if you booked on your debit card, you may be protected by a chargeback scheme.
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Flybe flights included in a package holiday may be ATOL-protected.
You will have contact your travel agent or tour operator to claim he money back.
Holiday organisers may attempt to make alternative arrangements for you or offer an alternative flight or change the date of your trip.
If none of this works for you, you will be given back a full refund.
And if you booked a flight via a travel agent, the sale may also be covered by ATOL.
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This means you can apply for a refund. And you should have received an ATOL certificate when you booked.
However, if you paid by any other method it is likely you will lose out unless you go directly to the administrators of Flybe.
You may however get nothing back from the firm.
Travel insurances companies may pay out for cancelled flights, but you will have to check your policy.
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Flybe was already on the brink in January, with the government attempting to rescue them.
It agreed an arrangement to defer tax payments of "less than £10 million" with HM Revenue and Customs.
Ministers also agreed to hold a review into Air Passenger Duty (APD).
The structure of APD – which adds £26 to the price of most return domestic flights such as those operated by Flybe – could be altered in next week's Budget.
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Flybe serves around 170 destinations and has a major presence at UK airports such as Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester and Southampton.
It flies the most UK domestic routes between airports outside London.
A series of issues have affected the airline's finances, including rising fuel costs, falling demand, competition from road, rail and other airlines, plus a weakening of the pound.
It was bought by a consortium comprising Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital in February 2019, but has continued to make losses.
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Rival Ryanair has predicted the drop in demand for flights due to the coronavirus will result in some European airlines failing in the coming weeks.
A Flybe spokesman would not comment on its financial situation.
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A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We won't comment on speculation."
At the time of Flybe's rescue, rival airlines complained that they should not be penalised for their own success and should also be given a tax holiday.
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