Flybe collapse: Southampton Airport pilot and passengers give reaction

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Captain Ben Wing, who spoke to the BBC after landing at Southampton, said he had heard nothing from the company

A stunned Flybe pilot was given the news the company had gone into administration by a BBC reporter after landing at Southampton Airport.

Capt Ben Wing flew one of the last Flybe flights back to the city on Wednesday night when he was still awaiting confirmation from the company.

Passengers at the airport on Thursday also told of having to drive hundreds of miles to get to their destinations.

Flybe accounts for about 90% flights at Southampton Airport.

Capt Wing, speaking to BBC News on Wednesday night, said: "We've come back from Belfast. We've parked it up. Hopefully at some point the company will tell us but they haven't as yet.

"It will not be great for Southampton Airport, Belfast Airport as well. Exeter will take a hit.

"We are the only real regional airline so anybody that wants to get from Southampton to Manchester - they've now got to take the train, basically, and that is three times the price and takes twice as long.

"It's been years and years of bad management and issues. I think the current guys who had come in tried to do their best but I think too much had happened and gone before."

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John Dunn (pictured right) and James Harrison (left) were at the airport trying to get to Scotland

John Dunn and James Harrison travel to Southampton from Scotland regularly for work and were at the airport earlier.

Mr Dunn said: "We need to head back to Edinburgh and Glasgow so we're going to have to pick up a hire car now and drive over 500 miles.

"I'm surprised how quickly it happened but not shocked in terms of the fact that they're always cancelling flights.

"Our head office is down this way so we can no longer travel to Southampton via plane."

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Stephen and Zarathe Jenkins wished Flybe staff luck in trying to find new jobs

Stephen and Zarathe Jenkins were among just a handful of passengers passing through Southampton earlier, thankful that their flight was booked with another operator.

Mrs Jenkins said: "I just think it's awful. It's not just the impact it has for all the employees at Flybe but it's the knock-on effect for all the regional airports across the country.

"I was made redundant last year and my husband was made redundant the year before and it's a really scary prospect but thankfully we both came out of it OK.

"We both found other jobs but I guess jobs within the airline industry are going to be more specific, and it's not as easy to pick up another airline to go and work for. I wish them luck."

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Southampton Airport's managing director Neil Garwood hoped other companies would fill the void

Following Flybe's collapse, Southampton Airport's managing director Neil Garwood said he had been in discussions with other airlines and was hopeful of finding companies to take on some of Flybe's services.

He also added plans to extend the runway was still "in place at the moment".

Flybe boss Mark Anderson said he was "very sorry" for the firm's collapse.

In a letter to the airline's staff, he said: "Despite every effort, we now have no alternative - having failed to find a feasible solution to allow us to keep trading."

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