DOZENS of flights have been cancelled at Birmingham Airport amid the coronavirus outbreak, with jobs set to be lost as airline Flybe called in administrators.
The regional airline has collapsed as demand for plane journeys plummeted.
Flybe, based in Exeter, uses Birmingham airport as a major hub.
Departure boards at Birmingham International showed a raft of cancellations.
All domestic flights from Birmingham are cancelled today.
Flybe advised passengers not to travel to Birmingham International.
The airline came close to collapse in January, but the government deferred tax payments of £100 million.
Yesterday (March 4), Flybe told the government it was rapidly running out of cash.
Around 2000 jobs are at risk if the airline cannot be saved.
In a letter to the airline’s staff, chief executive Mark Anderson said: “Despite every effort, we now have no alternative – having failed to find a feasible solution to allow us to keep trading.
“I am very sorry that we have not been able to secure the funding needed to continue to deliver our turnaround,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Birmingham Airport said: “It is with regret that Flybe has entered administration and ceased trading with immediate effect. Passengers due to travel with the airline should not come to the airport.”
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s very disappointing to hear the news about Flybe given the important role it has played for decades in the regional airport network and its strategic significance for Birmingham Airport in particular.
“It’s now vital that the Government does everything it can to work with Birmingham International to help re-establish alternative routes with different airlines and in particular, assist those who have lost their jobs in finding work with similar organisations.
“With the onset of coronavirus, it’s likely to be a challenging few months across the board, but BHX in particular has demonstrated an underlying resilience over the last 12 months which will allow it withstand this setback and I’m sure it will continue to act as a key driver for growth in the region in terms of creating new jobs and fuelling economic growth.”