Hopes of a new dawn for Flybe

Defunct regional airline Flybe could be back in the air within months after a former shareholder acquired its remaining assets.

The new owners are Thyme Opco, who have indicated the airline would initially be operated on a much smaller level.

Flybe was Europe’s biggest regional airline carrying around eight million passengers a year prior to its collapse.

What isn’t clear at this stage is whether the airline still holds a valid operator’s licence – without which the revival might be stalled before a plane leaves the ground.

The new owners haven’t indicated which airports the company is hoping to operate in and out of.

The company says it wants to start off smaller than before, but hopes to restore essential regional connectivity in the UK, and contribute to the recovery of a vital part of the country’s economy.

The news has been welcomed by the pilots’ union Balpa, which is seeking talks with Thyme Opco.

Before the collapse Flybe was the biggest operator in and out of the Isle of Man and held the contract for transporting hospital patients to and from the UK for treatment.

The proposed rescue is by no means a formality and the new owners face considerable regulatory hurdles before the airline can resume flying.