A pilots union has urged the government to do whatever it takes to ensure Flybe does not collapse.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) said if the regional airline did not exist it would have to be invented because it is so important.
This comes as numerous national news agencies reported Flybe was locked in emergency rescue talks last night (12 January).
"The airline plays an incredibly important role connecting the regions and nations of the UK and onwards to Europe," said Brian Strutton, Balpa’s general secretary.
"The importance of that regional connectivity cannot be overstated. Cities such as Exeter, Southampton, Birmingham and Cardiff rely extremely heavily on Flybe for their air links and for their economic prosperity.
"Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man would also suffer hugely if Flybe’s routes suddenly disappeared."
Strutton said more than 2,400 staff, including pilots, are at risk of losing their jobs: "The government must recognise that the UK cannot afford to lose yet another airline, and the markets that Flybe serves cannot afford to lose their air connections which help businesses thrive."
The government did not intervene to save Thomas Cook last September, leaving thousands of people jobless and 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.