Airlines: Tough times for the weak

 

Britain's biggest regional air carrier, Flybe, got a lifeline this week that will save it from the grave, while Iceland's WOW Air, which shut up shop earlier this year found that death doesn't mean exemption from taxes.

Flybe, which like WOW is noted for purple planes, has gotten EU approval for a plan that will see it acquired by a partnership of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and an American investor. Under the plan, it will get a new name—possibly Virgin's. Virgin says it will help the airline extend its regional network as well as focus it on delivering passengers to VA's hubs at Manchester and London.

WOW, meanwhile, is facing an administrative fine of over $30 million for failure to pay for carbon offsets it was required to buy as part of the EU's pollution trading clean air scheme. The airline, which shut down in March after unsuccessful attempts to sell itself, currently has no planes and no plans. It is not clear how the bankruptcy administrators will deal with the demand.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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