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Train operators rally to help Flybe passengers and staff

TRAIN operators have offered free travel today for Flybe passengers stranded by the airline’s collapse overnight. Staff from the airline can also travel without charge.

Flybe has gone into administration after a financial rescue attempt staged earlier this year finally failed.

Many flights from regional airports have been cancelled, and passengers are being asked not to travel to the airport unless they have arranged a flight with another airline.

The cancellations have left some airports with almost no flights. Exeter, which was Flybe’s hub, now has only two departures today, after 11 flights were cancelled. Also in the south west, Newquay now has four departures today after five Flybe cancellations, including all Cornwall’s flights to London.

Southampton has been hit particularly hard, and the airport’s website is showing no flights at all.

In response, all First Rail operators – Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express, South Western Railway, Hull Trains and Great Western Railway – are offering free travel until midnight on 15 March for stranded Flybe passengers and staff. Passengers need to be carrying their booking documents and staff must produce their identity cards. LNER has offered free travel today.

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said: ‘Our rail services connect people and communities up and down the country and as a gesture of goodwill we want to ensure that anyone who was due to travel on Flybe’s grounded flights today can still complete their journey.’

LNER commercial director Suzanne Donnelly said: ‘We recognise this is a difficult time for Flybe staff and for customers booked to travel with the former airline. We are pleased to be able to offer free Standard travel to help people return home following the collapse of Flybe.’

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