CORONA VIRUS TAKES ITS TOLL AS FLYBE COLLAPSES: Flybe has collapsed as the coronavirus hits demand for air travel. The company has reportedly told ministers it could collapse imminently without state help.

Exeter-based Flybe operates almost two in five of the UK’s domestic flights, employing more than 2,000 people, and is a leading carrier at airports including Belfast, Southampton, Manchester and Birmingham.

Crisis talks were held throughout the day on Wednesday to try to secure a rescue package, but it is understood no deal has been agreed.

Flybe customers are being urged to keep checking the airline’s travel advice in relation to the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

The virus, which emerged in China, has now been spread to more than 50 countries – many as a result of air travel.

The airline, which almost collapsed earlier this year before emergency Government intervention, said it was in constant dialogue with the authorities regarding the spread of coronavirus.

That has led to some carriers cutting their number of flights or implementing other measures to try and limit the virus’ spread.

In January, it was announced that Flybe had been rescued after government efforts led by the former chancellor Sajid Javid and ex-business secretary Andrea Leadsom. The measures included some deferral of tax, talks over a loan and promised reviews into regional air connectivity and air passenger duty (APD).