Flybe: AF-KLM and Lufthansa to the rescue… slots!

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On January 28, we announced the bankruptcy of the airline Flybe in the following article:

A bankruptcy that happened at the same time as that of the Norwegian carrier Flyr and which closely resembles the story of David against Goliath in post-pandemic times.

Chronicle of an announced liquidation

Both Flybe and Flyr (started in the summer of 2021) had entered the market to take advantage of the spaces left empty by the large carriers which, for more than two years, had had to reduce their operations to contain costs and save the coffers eroded by pandemic restrictions.

Flybe, recovering from a previous bankruptcy, had risen from its own ashes and sought new funding. Flyr, on the other hand, had found favor with Norwegian investors, who had believed in a competitor to Norwegian with potential in Europe, fitting precisely into those empty spaces.

However, as demand has now become strong again, both the large low-cost airlines and the “flagship” companies have relaunched the machine to conquer the market with new routes, and therefore want to take back formerly abandoned time slots at all costs.

The mad race for slots

Last weekend, and according to sources quoted by the British daily The Telegraphboth Lufthansa and the Air France-KLM group are said to have started discussions to take over the assets of British regional airline Flybe, which ceased operations at the end of January.

The interest of the two holding companies does not have to do with the core business of the bankrupt British company, but rather with the operating slots in great demand at the airports of Schiphol-Amsterdam, and Heathrow, the main international airport. from London.

Heathrow, and especially Schiphol, ultra coveted

The seven pairs of slots at Heathrow and the five at Schiphol left by Flybe would constitute the heart of the offer prepared by the two airline groups, which are already in the race to consolidate their dominant positions on the intra-European market.

The need to secure operating slots is more pressing in Amsterdam, as the Dutch government plans to cap operations at Schiphol, limiting them to 440,000 a year from November this year.

Catherine Mills Avatar