MIAMI — Christine Ourmières-Widener, the current CEO at UK regional carrier, Flybe, is to step down on July 15, 2019.
The confirmation comes almost three months after the regional airline was sold to Connect Airways, owned by a consortium that’s backed up by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group, and Cyrus Capital.
As things stand, Flybe will soon be merged and rebranded as Virgin Atlantic. The regional carrier was put up for sale in November 2018, as the airline had been in financial difficulties for the last few years.
Flybe’s integration into Virgin Atlantic marks the return of the long-haul airline into the UK regional market, following the demise of the Virgin Atlantic Little Red brand in 2015.
Ironically, at the time of Little Red’s closure, most of its slots were taken over by Flybe.
“On behalf of the entire Flybe board, I want to extend my gratitude to Christine Ourmières-Widener for her commitment and significant contributions to Flybe,” said Flybe’s director, Jonathan Peachey.
“This includes her tireless efforts to safeguard the future for the customers and communities who rely on Flybe, as well as the company’s employees, its pension fund members, and its creditors,” said Peachey.
Christine Ourmières-Widener declared that “it has been a privilege to lead Flybe over the past two years and to work with such an outstanding and dedicated team of professionals.”
“Together, we have been able to secure the jobs of our loyal Flybe employees with the sale to Connect Airways and provide our customers and the UK with the vital transport and travel infrastructure they rely on while preparing Flybe for a bright future under its new ownership.”
The regional carrier currently operates a fleet of 71 aircraft, of which 54 are Bombardier Dash-8 Q400s, 11 Embraer E175s, and six Embraer E195s.
It is yet to be determined whether the fleet will be substantially modified once the merger into Virgin Atlantic takes place.