POST TIME: 18 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
Troubled UK airline Flybe says seeking govt loan
AFP, London

Troubled UK airline Flybe says seeking govt loan

Struggling UK airline Flybe said yesterday it is seeking a state loan and has been granted a tax holiday, after

 this week’s rescue which

has sparked anger from rival carriers.

Flybe managing director Mark Anderson said in a message to staff that the regional airline, which narrowly avoided collapse on Tuesday, is in talks over the loan.

“We are in conversation with the government around a financial loan — a loan, not a bailout — a commercial loan, but that is the same as any loan we’d take from any bank,” Anderson said in a message that was initially reported by the BBC and confirmed to the news agency.

He added: “The government will not lend if they do not believe there is a credible plan.

“No-one is going to throw good money after bad.”

Flybe added in a separate statement that it has agreed a payment plan to defer tax payments of less than £10 million ($13 million, 12 million euros) with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) — which is Britain’s tax authority. The airline said that this was standard HMRC practice for businesses in financial difficulties.

Flybe meanwhile criticised “inaccurate” UK media speculation that its tax debt stood at more than £100 million.

The carrier was saved from collapse on Tuesday when the UK government agreed to review air passenger

duty (APD) paid by the Flybe’s customers, while shareholders pledged extra investment.