Belfast Telegraph

Father living along border fears what Brexit will bring after flybmi collapse

Civil engineer Danny McLaughlin had 14 upcoming flights out of City of Derry airport to London Stansted.

Flights have been cancelled after airline flybmi announced it would be filing for administration (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Flights have been cancelled after airline flybmi announced it would be filing for administration (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The news of flybmi’s collapse is a cause of major concern for a father living along the Irish border who used the airline frequently for work.

Civil engineer Danny McLaughlin said it is the first direct effect he has felt living in “Brexitland”.

The 46-year-old father-of-two had 14 flights booked through his job over the next seven weeks between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted.

Mr McLaughlin, who lives near Buncrana in Co Donegal, said he was shocked when he received a text message telling him of the airline’s demise.

I'm really in Brexitland, I'm three miles from the border ... For me personally it's the first thing really that's affected me. Danny McLaughlin

“I’m a bit stunned to be honest with you,” he said. “I know airlines and things have been saying this for quite a while but it just came as a bolt out of the blue.

“I feel sorry for the staff. I haven’t reached the angry stage yet, I probably will. I probably will get a bit annoyed as the weekend goes on. And on Monday morning when I can’t get to work.”

The airline said uncertainty around Brexit was partly to blame for it cancelling flights and filing for administration.

Have you been affected by flybmi cancelling all its flights on the Londonderry to London Stansted route? Email newseditor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk to share your story.

Mr McLaughlin said it is the first personal inconvenience he has felt from Brexit and added that he has concerns about what lies ahead.

He said: “I’m really in Brexitland, I’m three miles from the border. I’ve been across the border six times today already, and that’s a normal Saturday – going to the shop, taking my son to get a haircut and to rugby.

“For me personally it’s the first thing really that’s affected me. And then, in 41 days’ time we just don’t know what’s going to happen three miles up the road.

“If there’s going to be no deal, and it looks that way at the minute, this area here, we’re going to be hit the worst.

“I was sitting in traffic today just at the bottom of my road getting onto the main road and there was a line of cars coming both directions, and it was 50% Northern Ireland registrations so it’s going to affect all those people as well.”

The City of Derry Airport said that following flybmi’s news it is “reviewing options” to resume a route to Stansted.

Last week, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the UK Government would continue to provide funding for a flight between City of Derry Airport and London for a further two years.

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