Flybe’s administrator has reportedly opened talks with ministers for the government to buy and nationalise the failed carrier.
Discussions are said to be under way after a group representing more than 2,500 ex-Flybe staff wrote to the chancellor last week, urging him to purchase the company to allow them access to the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, according to The Telegraph.
Flybe collapsed on 5 March after failing to secure a £100 million government bailout.
The airline was set to be rebranded to Virgin Connect later this year after it was acquired by the Virgin Atlantic-led Connect Airways consortium in early 2019.
Connect boss Mark Anderson said the coronavirus outbreak contributed to Flybe’s collapse with the carrier “unable to overcome significant funding challenges to its business”.
“This has been compounded by the outbreak of coronavirus which in the last few days has resulted in a significant impact on demand,” said Anderson on the morning of the airline’s collapse.
Last week, ministers relaxed rules allowing companies that failed during March to benefit from its coronavirus furlough support scheme.
The plea comes as Virgin Atlantic ramps up its bid to secure a bailout after the government decided against offering an industry-wide rescue package, having previously alluded to such an option amid the coronavirus crisis.
TTG has contacted Flybe administrator EY for comment.