FLYBE bosses are holding crunch talks with the government in a bid to save the airline.

But who owns Europe's largest regional airline? Here's what we know.

Who owns Flybe?

The Exeter-based carrier was bought by a consortium consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital in February 2019 following poor financial results.

The consortium, known as Connect Airways, paid just £2.2 million for Flybe's assets but pledged to pump tens of millions of pounds into the loss-making airline to turn it around.

Around 2,000 people are employed by the airline.

2) Is Flybe still operating and why is it in trouble?

Discussions were held with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT) over the weekend to see whether they could provide or facilitate emergency financing.

The holding of rescue talks with the Government indicates the financing requirements have become greater than expected.

Flybe has been hit by a series of problems, including falling demand, rising fuel costs and the weakening of the pound.

If it collapses, it would be the second UK airline to fail in four months, following the demise of Thomas Cook.

Flights operated as normal on Monday morning.

3) When was Flybe founded and where does it fly to?

The airline began as Jersey European Airways in 1979, operating regional flights from Jersey.

Its route network grew and it was rebranded British European in 2000, before becoming Flybe in 2002.

A Flybe spokeswoman said: "Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned.

"We don't comment on rumour or speculation."

Spokesmen for BEIS and the DfT issued identical statements which read: "We do not comment on speculation or the financial affairs of private companies."

4) What to do if you have Flybe flights booked

Flybe is not ATOL protected – meaning travellers would have to pay for their own new flights themselves.

However, passengers are advised to always pay for flights on a credit card as they can then try and claim costs back through consumer protection law Section 75.

You may also be protected if your travel insurance has "travel abandonment" cover, although few providers offer this.

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