AIRLINE Flybe has been bought as part of a £2.2m deal which will see the creation of a new airline group.
The regional airline, which flies out of Southampton Airport, has been bought by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital Partners after putting itself up for sale in November.
Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener said the firm had been forced to seek a buyer due to higher fuel costs, currency fluctuations and Brexit uncertainty.
She said: ‘We have been affected by all of these factors which have put pressure on short-term financial performance.
‘At the same time, Flybe suffered from a number of legacy issues that are being addressed but are still adversely affecting cashflows.
‘By combining to form a larger, stronger group, we will be better placed to withstand these pressures. We aim to provide an even better service to our customers and secure the future for our people.’
Under the plans, the airline will be combined with Stobart Air in a joint venture called Connect Airways.
Cyrus will own 40 per cent of the new company, while Virgin and Stobart will take 30 per cent apiece.
The three companies have committed to make a £20m bridge available to support Flybe's current operations, while an additional £80m will be provided to the combined group.