Flybmi collapse: ‘I’m in Brexitland, this is the first thing really that’s affected me’

Civil Engineer living along Border relied on Derry to London route for job

Danny McLaughlin: ‘I probably will get a bit annoyed as the weekend goes on. And on Monday morning when I can’t get to work’. Photograph: Danny McLaughlin/PA

Danny McLaughlin: ‘I probably will get a bit annoyed as the weekend goes on. And on Monday morning when I can’t get to work’. Photograph: Danny McLaughlin/PA

 

The news of flybmi’s collapse is a cause of major concern for a civil engineer living along the Border who used the airline frequently for work.

British Midland Regional Limited, which had operated 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities, said all flights were cancelled from Saturday

Danny McLaughlin said it is the first direct effect he has felt living in “Brexitland”.

The 46-year-old father-of-two had 14 flights booked through his job over the next seven weeks between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted.

Mr McLaughlin, who lives near Buncrana in Co Donegal, said he was shocked when he received a text message telling him of the airline’s demise.

“I’m a bit stunned to be honest with you,” he said. “I know airlines and things have been saying this for quite a while but it just came as a bolt out of the blue.

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“I feel sorry for the staff. I haven’t reached the angry stage yet, I probably will. I probably will get a bit annoyed as the weekend goes on. And on Monday morning when I can’t get to work.”

The airline said uncertainty around Brexit was partly to blame for it cancelling flights and filing for administration.

Mr McLaughlin said it is the first personal inconvenience he has felt from Brexit and added that he has concerns about what lies ahead.

He said: “I’m really in Brexitland, I’m three miles from the Border. I’ve been across the Border six times today already, and that’s a normal Saturday — going to the shop, taking my son to get a haircut and to rugby.

“For me personally it’s the first thing really that’s affected me. And then, in 41 days’ time we just don’t know what’s going to happen three miles up the road.

“If there’s going to be no deal, and it looks that way at the minute, this area here, we’re going to be hit the worst.

“I was sitting in traffic today just at the bottom of my road getting onto the main road and there was a line of cars coming both directions, and it was 50 per cent Northern Ireland registrations so it’s going to affect all those people as well.”

The City of Derry Airport said that following flybmi’s news it is “reviewing options” to resume a route to Stansted.

Last week, UK transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the UK government would continue to provide funding for a flight between City of Derry Airport and London for a further two years.–PA

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