Plans to return Flybe to the skies next year could soon take a major step forward.
US hedge fund Cyrus Capital bought the Flybe brand out of administration in October through shell company Thyme Opco Limited.
The Telegraph reports the firm has now applied to the CAA for a UK operating licence.
Cyrus was part of the Virgin Atlantic-led coalition, which also included Stobart Air, that acquired Flybe in January 2019.
However, the investors pulled the plug shortly before the coronavirus crisis when talks over a government bailout collapsed.
At the time, Flybe was Europe’s largest regional carrier, with a major presence at Exeter airport.
In October, a Thyme Opco spokesperson said: "The airline is not only a well-known UK brand, 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."
Flybe was placed in administration on 5 March.
Prior to its collapse, it carried around eight million passengers a year between 81 airports across the UK and Europe.