Struggling Flybe has completed the sale of its assets to a consortium of buyers led by Virgin Atlantic.

The loss-making UK regional airline confirmed it has sold its assets and operations for £2.8 million to Connect Airways, a consortium consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart and hedge fund Cyrus Capital.

The deal comes just days after it emerged a group led by US airline Mesa had tabled a last-minute refinancing proposal that would see it inject £64 million in new equity.

But the Exeter-based airline opted for the Connect Airways offer just hours ahead of today’s deadline.

The deal covers the carrier’s two operating subsidiaries – Flybe Limited and Flybe.com.

Flybe’s assets and operations are now owned by Connect Airways and flights continue to operate as normal.

The deal was able to go ahead after Connect Airways gained European Commission competition approval.

Meanwhile, Stobart Group confirmed the disposal of Flybe franchise carrier Stobart Air and aircraft leasing firm Propius to Connect Airways.

The owner of Southend airport said that the combination of Stobart Air and Propius with Connect Airways “is expected to bring benefits to customers, suppliers and employees, providing stability in a tough trading environment”.

Flybe Group is now a non-trading entity with no subsidiaries and no material assets other than the limited cash received under the deal.

A separate 1p per share offer for the remaining shell company, also made by Connect Airways, remains on the table at a value of £2.2 million.

Shareholders are being urged to accept the offer at a meeting on March 4 or risk receiving no value for their shares.

On Twitter, the carrier said: “Today’s confirmation of the sale of Flybe to Connect Airways secures an exciting future for our customers & employees as we continue to provide vital regional connectivity in the UK & beyond.

“Our confirmed schedule operates as normal and you can book now at flybe.com.”

The airline also announced a new route from Heathrow to Guernsey with daily flights starting on March 31 costing from £34.99 one-way.

tw3