I was saddened this week by the news that small airline Flybmi has collapsed and cancelled all flights. The airline carried over 500,000 passengers last year and many have been left stranded abroad or with ruined travel plans.
There is never one single reason to blame when a large business runs into trouble or collapses. All businesses in the UK and internationally are subject to myriad pressures and challenges. But it is clear to me that we must take every possible measure to protect our aviation industry as we go through the uncertain Brexit period. Aviation is not covered by WTO rules and therefore shareholders and consumers are more fearful for the future than we see in some other sectors. Government work to facilitate a smooth transition is well underway and covers all scenarios but we must publicise this work and encourage consumers to continue to buy air tickets and support our fantastic aviation industry.
I will continue to make the case in Parliament for comprehensive measures to achieve this and look forward to working with Government to reassure this vital sector. We do not want to see more headlines like this sad collapse of Flybmi.