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LONDONBankrupt Flybe's return to the service seems imminent after the airline’s hedge fund owner applied for a UK operating license.

A shell company owned by Cyrus Capital, which bought the airline’s brand, stock, and other equipment from administrators in October, filed an application for an operating license with the aviation regulator.

New York-based Cyrus, whose European arm is run by Lucien Farrell, was Flybe’s biggest shareholder before it filed for bankruptcy in March.

Flybe’s failure came as the pandemic hit Britain, prompting Cyrus and fellow shareholders Virgin Atlantic and Stobart to walk away from further investment to the Exeter-based carrier afloat.

The trio was unable to convince ministers to acquiesce to a £100m bailout of what was Europe’s biggest regional carrier, despite the Conservative government’s general election pledge to “level up” the economy weeks earlier.

The collapse left Flybe’s £170m retirement pot in a parlous position. It was unable to seek the support of lifeboat the Pension Protection Fund because the scheme was based in the Isle of Man.

Last month, Cyrus set up shell company Thyme Opco to relaunch Flybe.

A spokesman for the company said:

“The airline is not only a well-known UK brand, but it was also the largest regional air carrier in the EU, so while we plan to start off smaller than before, we expect to create valuable airline industry jobs, restore essential regional connectivity in the UK, and contribute to the recovery of a vital part of the country’s economy.”#

Via (The Telegraph)

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