Southend airport and Stobart Air owner Stobart Group has had a takeover bid for Flybe rejected by the regional airline.

Stobart will not be raising its unspecified offer and is withdrawing its interest in Flybe, the company revealed today.

It was unable to reach agreement on “satisfactory terms” with the airline, following an offer being made a month ago.

Stobart Group “has determined that it is not in its shareholders’ best interests to increase its latest proposal for Flybe above the level which was rejected by the board of Flybe,” the company said.

“Given this, Stobart Group confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Flybe.”

A statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning added: “Stobart Group and Flybe enjoy a range of shared interests as well as a growing franchise arrangement between the two groups’ airlines and it is Stobart Group’s intention to continue the collaborative working relationship between both companies.”

Flybe said: “The board remains highly confident in the prospects of Flybe and believes that the group continues to have an exciting future as an independent company, delivering the sustainable business improvement plan as set out in June 2017.

“This plan is focused on driving sustainable profit and cash generation and will see the fleet size reduce to an optimum level for the number of identified profitable routes and make the business demand-driven rather than capacity-led.”

Flybe currently operates 211 routes serving 15 countries from 80 departure points in the UK and Europe with a fleet of 81 aircraft.