Posted 5th March 2020 | 1 Comment

Train operators rally to help Flybe passengers and staff

Updated 10.35

TRAIN operators have offered free travel today for Flybe passengers stranded by the airline’s collapse overnight. Staff from the airline can also travel without charge.

Flybe has gone into administration after a financial rescue attempt staged earlier this year finally failed.

Many flights from regional airports have been cancelled, and passengers are being asked not to travel to the airport unless they have arranged a flight with another airline.

The cancellations have left some airports with almost no flights. Exeter, which was Flybe’s hub, now has only two departures today, after 11 flights were cancelled. Also in the south west, Newquay now has four departures today after five Flybe cancellations, including all Cornwall’s flights to London.

Southampton has been hit particularly hard, and the airport’s website is showing no flights at all.

In response, all First Rail operators – Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express, South Western Railway, Hull Trains and Great Western Railway – are offering free travel until 11 March for stranded Flybe passengers and staff. Passengers need to be carrying their booking documents and staff must produce their identity cards. LNER has offered free travel today.

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said: ‘Our rail services connect people and communities up and down the country and as a gesture of goodwill we want to ensure that anyone who was due to travel on Flybe’s grounded flights today can still complete their journey.’

LNER commercial director Suzanne Donnelly said: ‘We recognise this is a difficult time for Flybe staff and for customers booked to travel with the former airline. We are pleased to be able to offer free Standard travel to help people return home following the collapse of Flybe.’

UPDATE: West Midlands Trains has now made the same offer of free travel until 11 March on its West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway networks. WMT commercial director Andy Camp said: ‘Passengers with Flybe may be anxious as they work out how they are going to complete their journeys.

‘At this difficult time we are happy to play our part in helping remove some of the stress.’

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Melvyn, Canvey Island , Essex

    Seems this could be an opportunity for railways to attract short haul passengers to rail? The debate in Parliament mentioned how Southampton has a short runway and is thus limited to the types of aircraft that can use it so given the Governmentís green agenda this could be an ideal time to close this airport given Exeter is not that far away and use opportunity to electrify the route to Exeter. While Brexit has now raised interesting questions re links to Northern Ireland but thatís more to do with their choices of post Brexit arrangements than an airline going under ..... Boris best get a move on with his bridge! The TGV network in France has held back domestic flights showing how important HS2 will be in reducing internal flights where getting to and from airports are longer than the flight or train journeys via HS2.