Flybe…. Should the taxpayer fund a failing airline?

Viewing 38 posts - 41 through 78 (of 78 total)
  • Flybe…. Should the taxpayer fund a failing airline?
  • Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Corporate welfare innit?

    Hardly any surprises seeing subsidy-hoover Branson involved.

    It’s what he does

    I did enjoy Matt Hancock saying on radio 4 this morning that it’s fine on the environmental front because they’ll soon be using electric planes.

    Electric planes?

    Really?

    Clearly his knowledge of how aircraft work is right up there with Dominic Raabs extensive knowledge of cross-Chanel trade

    tjagain
    Member

    No frank – completely wrong. I fly less than once a year on average and have not flown long haul for more than a decade. I am very aware and concerned about it and have decided not to fly anywhere this year at all – purely for environmental reasons

    Are you really trying to justify flying Netherlands to exeter daily as a commute? Highly polluting and massively subsidiesd

    Why not – its destroying the planet. thats why not

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    They should let it go bust then arrange for a non-profit organisation to but it cheap. Then they can play around with subsidies that keep it going not line corporate pockets.

    If it stays as a corporate company then it should be left to fend for itself.

    But this is a Boris Govt so they’ll get loads of handouts and tax write-offs to keep his backers happy.

    Flaperon
    Member

    Not much sympathy here. The APD should have been ring-fenced by Flybe as it’s not theirs to keep.

    If specific routes are required but uneconomic then they should be subsidised directly by the government with the funding available to any airline that wants to run the route.

    Flybe has been circling the drain thanks to shit management and over-expansion on the back of cheap credit. Delta and Virgin own it; they’re the ones that should cough up.

    Premier Icon rone
    Subscriber

    This half-baked – sometimes tinkering in the market economy to save ailing companies doesn’t work.

    We either live under a failing neoliberal serves-the-few economy or we nationalise things and do it properly.

    Public voted against democratic socialism – so why are we even here? We’re here because the Government needs to save face – when it suits their agenda.

    Prepare for more wonky economy junk in this dying economic model. Lower interest rates … Why ? Tinkering at the seems because they think monerary policy will sort of fix things.

    **** the Tories and their decrepit economic logic.

    Country is flatlining.

    Flybe have already given up on flights to Stornoway. They couldn’t compete with Loganair.
    Seems Flybe will still sell you a ticket to Stornoway, but that is for the same Loganair flight anyway.

    Flybe and Loganair have a specific partnering arrangement for that and certain other Scotland routes.

    MSP
    Member

    Are we getting to a point where employee commuting choices are controlled/directed?

    I think we are at a stage where if you choose a commute that requires you getting on a plane, that should be considered with the social disdain of a smoker or drink driver. Such wanton environmental vandalism is costing lives.

    alpin
    Member

    I did enjoy Matt Hancock saying on radio 4 this morning that it’s fine on the environmental front because they’ll soon be using electric planes.

    Didn’t he say at new technology world help save more carbon.

    I thought….
    What new technology? The same technology that Johnson says is going to save the Irish border from burning?

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    No we shouldn’t.

    We shouldn’t be meddling as a one jerk reaction. It should have been thought through as part of a bigger transport strategy.

    That said, I’ve been a regular Flybe customer for the last 7 years. We do Edinburgh or Glasgow to Southampton for work a few times a year. Plane = under 4 hours office door to office door. Train = 8 hours+, usually twice the price too.

    It is time to change our work habits, revisit really big decisions about commuting and work travel.

    No, we shouldn’t support Flybe but we urgently need to support other alternative transport across the UK.

    I have also been a fairly regular Flybe user – Exeter to Manchester and Exeter to Edinburgh but flying is now very much a dirty word at work where we now have a £100 each way surcharge for domestic flights, which hits project budgets (and isn’t billed), and non-project flights are effectively banned. I think change is gradually happening.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I think we are at a stage where if you choose a commute that requires you getting on a plane, that should be considered with the social disdain of a smoker or drink driver. Such wanton environmental vandalism is costing lives.

    +1

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I think we are at a stage where if you choose a commute that requires you getting on a plane, that should be considered with the social disdain of a smoker or drink driver. Such wanton environmental vandalism is costing lives.

    It’s not that simple though. Some areas of the UK are very difficult/time-consuming to get to via train or car. Some jobs might require specialist staff bringing in – a skillset that isn’t readily found locally.

    Which is worse – a 45 min flight with 30 people on it or a 4hr car journey with one person? There are wider implications than simply “flying is bad, we should all stop flying”.

    I agree with the comment about the ridiculous “tinkering around the edges” approach that the Government is doing rather than a wider transport review but then Government is a) universally clueless and b) has never had a country-wide, multi-modal transport plan or strategy.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    I think we are at a stage where if you choose a commute that requires you getting on a plane, that should be considered with the social disdain of a smoker or drink driver. Such wanton environmental vandalism is costing lives.
    +1

    I’m a bit terrified what you’d consider appropriate retribution for someone who flew on holiday. There is a really long and fuzzy causal chain between an individual decision to fly and deaths, which makes your extension of individual morality quite controversial. It’s not equivalent to say drink driving or smoking really. Also you need attach relative weights to losses now to individuals from not flying and future impacts, amongst a host of other things. Does a person from a western country that has emitted a shit tonne of CO2 since the industrial revolution have a higher moral responsibility than a person in say, Kenya, who can get a better job by flying every week? If I stop flying for work, but that adversly impacts my kids in the here and now is that moral?

    Personally I want to try and fly less, it’s good for all kinds of reasons. Flying for work sucks and I don’t do it anymore. It doesn’t follow that I have the right to morally judge others. It’s actually a very new and evolving area of Philosophy and very interesting. Who knows where it will go.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I suspect the brexit bailouts will keep on coming for a while
    What happens when Airbus & the car manufacturers threaten to pull out?

    You’re right, I had expected this sort of thing to start next month once we’d “Brexited”.

    Love or loathe him Willy Walsh has a point, the UK is still subject to EU state aid rules and the UK has just given effective state aid to a failing airline… I expect it’ll be backhanders tax deferrals/waivers and plain old nepotism galore in a couple of weeks time.

    Ironic that many people choose to fly because it’s cheaper than the train… And now they (supposedly) haven’t made enough money to pay their taxes!

    I think BoJO & Co think the whole “Deferred tax” wheeze nicely dodges the state aid rule for now, but it might as well be a direct loan from the UK Gov for £100m, so if we’re not going to let them fail and they owe the treasury £100m why are we not doing what we did with the banks a decade ago and part nationalising/taking a share into Government ownership?

    What I can’t quite fathom is why propping Flybe up is OK, but there was no possibility of the government intervening to prevent Thomas Cook from failing, the economic impact of TC going under was probably more substantial than Flybe would be.

    There are enough Fair trade and free market economic arguments against a Flybe bailout, never mind the environmental policy precedent it sets… welcome to the thin end of a chuffing massive wedge people….

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Subscriber

    Which is worse – a 45 min flight with 30 people on it or a 4hr car journey with one person? There are wider implications than simply “flying is bad, we should all stop flying”.

    I’ve flown from the SW to London city, Manchester and Newcastle each time the flights were full, if I had driven, I would have done so solo. The travel time was halved due to flying, even more so for Newcastle. The train for all journeys was more expensive and except for London longer travel time.

    I dont agree with any bailout thought and I have friends who work for Flybe. Virgin and Delta should pony up IMO.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    What I can’t quite fathom is why propping Flybe up is OK, but there was no possibility of the government intervening to prevent Thomas Cook from failing, the economic impact of TC going under was probably more substantial than Flybe would be.

    Because TC is the “leisure” market. Holidaymakers.
    Flybe is very much a regional connectivity service and in some cases (IoM in particular), it’s a vital connection to the mainland.

    Basically no-one *has* to fly on TC and other airlines can step in. However some people *have* to fly on Flybe (or more realistically, the other alternatives are far more inconvenient, expensive etc) and there aren’t any other operators to step in.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Which is worse – a 45 min flight with 30 people on it or a 4hr car journey with one person? There are wider implications than simply “flying is bad, we should all stop flying”.

    The question you should ask is which is worse, the flight or 45 cars doing the same journey.

    IIRC the answer is still the flight is worse. Principally because it enables that pollution. If question is a 4h drive each way and ~quarter of a ton of CO2 Vs not doing it, people wouldn’t do it. If it’s 45minutes and quarter of a ton of CO2……….

    And the better question is, why? Was there really no one with that skill set locally or any way of working remotely? Yes it’s a different question for Shetland etc. But for intercity routes over the mainland?

    It’s simply putting profit above the environment. The employer isn’t paying enough to either satisfy the local workforce or encourage people to move nearer their workplace, and the employee is taking that extra hourly rate for a middle project management IT role in the Netherlands (or doing whatever, wherever).

    We’re not talking the flying doctors on a humanitarian mission to somewhere worthy, we’re talking sales reps and middle management consultants.

    And the problem is, it’s f*****g over the planet.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Which is worse – a 45 min flight with 30 people on it or a 4hr car journey with one person?

    I’ve flown from the SW to London city, Manchester and Newcastle each time the flights were full, if I had driven, I would have done so solo.

    if that chart on the last page from the BBC is to be believed then flying is ALWAYS worse than even a solo car journey. Train is WAY better.

    baboonz
    Member

    @thisisnotaspoon

    It’s not as simple as that, some areas of the UK have their expertise. People in technical roles still have to travel.

    I do agree that more efforts should be made on being able to transmit information without having to be there physically.

    TheBrick
    Member

    Are you really trying to justify flying Netherlands to exeter daily as a commute? Highly polluting and massively subsidiesd

    Daily? Maybe I missed it (perfectly possible) but I never noticed that the commute mentioned was daily.

    P-Jay
    Member

    Without knowing too many of the finer details: No.

    If it’s profitable to run Flybe, someone will buy it, or another player will take over the routes.

    If it’s not profitable then we’re just throwing tax payers money into a hole to keep them afloat for another year or 18 months.

    If it’s in the public interest, as someone else said – Nationalise it, at least we won’t be bunging £100m into a privately and foreign owned business, only to find a few mill of it ended up in the bosses pocket as a bonus and likely they pay their tax elsewhere.

    Frankly business travel is a bit 20th century for me. I work with people in the US, Europe and Asia fairly regularly, I’ve never been to see them and I don’t think there would be any great benefit if I did.

    P-Jay
    Member

    Because TC is the “leisure” market. Holidaymakers.
    Flybe is very much a regional connectivity service and in some cases (IoM in particular), it’s a vital connection to the mainland.

    I really find it hard to feel in anyway sorry for the IOM, they’re one of those ‘Cake and Eat it’ states that seem to be part of the UK for things that suit them (defence, access to EU and other trading partners) but outside for things that don’t (taxation and governance)

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    It’s not as simple as that, some areas of the UK have their expertise. People in technical roles still have to travel.

    I know, I work in a very technical role, it’s why I used to travel a lot (by car/train, although in theory I could have flown in about the same door to door time). It’s one of the reasons I took a paycut to get a job locally.

    Still get invited to meetings where I’m sure I could have just read the minutes in 5 minutes and avoided wasting an hour, but at least it’s not at the wrong end of the country.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    The Isle of Man example… shouldn’t tax payers there bail out that route?

    Tax payers in IOM?

    There is no capital gains tax, there is no inheritance tax, there is no corporation tax, there is no stamp duty, and income tax comes in very low indeed: the top rate is 20%. It is also capped at £120,000. No one pays more.

    But yes electric flight is on the horizon for short Island hoping 👍

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    But yes electric flight is on the horizon for short Island hoping 👍

    Hardly a panacea though is it, unless you build a lot of renewable sources to provide the energy it’s still a very energy intensive way of moving people around. Whereas an electric car is more efficient than it’s ICE equivalent. And unlike cars there’s no benefit in terms of other pollutants and their effects on health as generally planes are a long way from cities.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Subsidising key regional routes could make a lot of sense- infrastructure doesn’t always make money itself but it makes money elsewhere.

    But how many flybe flights meet that definition? When you look at their busiest routes, you see Amsterdam to Birmingham, Birmingham to Manchester, Birmingham to Glasgow, all well served by other methods. Birmingham to Amsterdam…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Dickyboy

    Subscriber

    Tax payers in IOM?

    There is no capital gains tax, there is no inheritance tax, there is no corporation tax, there is no stamp duty, and income tax comes in very low indeed: the top rate is 20%. It is also capped at £120,000. No one pays more.

    In which case maybe they should face up to one of the costs of living in their low-tax world and either pay enough to keep the service viable without subsidy, or lose it. It’d be crazy for the UK taxpayer to fund a service for the IOM nontaxpayer.

    poly
    Member

    The fact is that folk shouldn’t be taking on roles and responsibilities that require them to travel those sort of distances.

    I have a bit of sympathy for that argument. On a pure economic basis – that is presumably a relatively affluent traveller, if we take them out of the rural community their spending power goes, more often than not they are families, so the children go, then the schools don’t have enough pupils and the teachers go, and then the local shop doesn’t have a sustainable revenue, the house prices remain high because people buy them as second homes and to let but nobody lives in them and they are deserted for 6 months of the year. You can repeat with people who have elderly family in remote locations – with poor connections its easier to encourage them to move closer to younger relatives with jobs in cities where there are facilities. Repeat the consequential effects: less demand for opticians, dentists, doctors, pharmacists and so the rural services go into decline and you get a new loss of service. Its not quite the stage of scottish islands, but its the same general problem.

    However, much more cynically these flights service typical tory voters, in “the regions” and this is any easy win without writing any cheques for the government to seem to be backing those who put them in power.

    nicko74
    Member

    It kind of makes sense, they connect places in the UK that no one else does and where driving or trains would be an unholy nightmare. Some off the top of my head…

    Inverness to Stornoway
    Teesside to Aberdeen
    Glasgow to Southampton

    This is what sticks in the throat with BA’s complaints of “unfair state aid”. If BA actually supported any of these routes, hadn’t bought and then shut down all of BMIs domestic routes, and didn’t grimly hang on to Heathrow landing slots as a way to reduce competition, it might have a leg to stand on. As it is, it’s pure dog in the manger theatre from an airline that’s a shadow of what it used to be.

    If you want to get from Birmingham to Glasgow, or Glasgow to the Scottish islands, there’s nobody else supporting those routes.

    All that said, Virgin (and the other members of the consortium that bought Flybe) should absolutely be keeping it going. They bought it when it was losing £20m a year, so to then let it go to the wall 12 months later is a disgrace.

    Premier Icon Mat
    Subscriber

    Yeah, I’ve been quite angry hearing BA and Ryanair jumping in complaining about state aid. I’m sure they’ll be first in line to pick up half of the routes Flybe run… (or maybe not).

    Visiting family in Devon (from Aberdeen) will be much tougher and more expensive without them. I don’t get how they struggle so much, all the flights I’ve been on them with are packed, even midweek midday. Abz to ext is via Manchester which they use as a connection hub, all the connecting flights there look pretty busy too…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    nicko74

    Member

    If you want to get from Birmingham to Glasgow, or Glasgow to the Scottish islands, there’s nobody else supporting those routes.

    4 hours on the train… Which is longer than the air time, but once you take into account that it leaves and arrives in the city centres, whereas the plane takes you from Renfrew to halfway to Coventry, and you allow for check-in times etc, measures up pretty well.

    ransos
    Member

    Eurostar is electric. A lot of domestic trains are still diesel

    It’s more to do with the French side being mostly nuclear.

    More like 4 and a half hours with at least one change. Better hope you make those connections!

    I know we’re talking about Fly(may)be here but at least with a flight you don’t have that same worry of getting stranded in Preston.

    Of course there’s a solution to that…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    squirrelking

    Member

    More like 4 and a half hours with at least one change. Better hope you make those connections!

    Nope, there is a direct, 4 hour service. Get on one at 9.15 tomorrow in New Street, be in Glasgow Central at 13.15.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Good news. The Newquay flight has gone back to leaving from Gatwick not Heathrow.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-measures-on-regional-connectivity

    Government announces a review based on something it previously had no interest or knowledge of but has now had to review due to giving them £100 million…

    dannyh
    Member

    Does anybody seriously think that the current crop of nationalistic tosspots that a lot of countries think it clever to elect are going to do anything more than token gestures when it comes to the environment?

    At first contact with any issue they will take the easy way out, so long as they can be seen to be acting in the narrowest interests of their own economies.

    At the current rate, the only thing that will stop emissions from hydrocarbons is when we’ve dug the whole lot up and burnt it.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    At first contact with any issue they will take the easy way out, so long as they can be seen to be acting in the narrowest interests of their own economies.

    At the current rate, the only thing that will stop emissions from hydrocarbons is when we’ve dug the whole lot up and burnt it.

    The trouble is they make grand gestures like putting it into law that we will be carbon neutral by a certain date. But making sure that’s 4-6 parliaments away. So it will never be their problem when they fail, it’ll be the last government left holding the buck with 90% of the task to do that fails, Gove, Borris and Cummings will long ago have released their memoirs and retired by then.

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