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Christine Ourmieres-Widener (photo: Flybe)

Flybe boss to depart in July

Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener will step down from her position on July 15.

Following the sale of the low-cost airline Flybe to the Connect Airways consortium earlier this year, Christine Ourmieres-Widener, its chief executive, will step down from her role.

The consortium is led by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital. The deal, which is worth only £2.2 million (€2.49 million), is still awaiting final clearance from EU regulators, though it is expected this summer.

Ahead of the vote on the purchase in March, the price was called “disappointingly low” by Flybe, which was branded as Europe’s largest regional airline and flies more UK domestic flights than any other. However, investors were warned that voting against the deal would end in the airline shutting down completely.

Flybe was pushed to the point of bankruptcy by overcapacity, rising fuel prices and slowing economies where it flies. It says it expects to announce a successor prior to Ourmieres-Widener’s departure to “ensure a smooth handover”. She became CEO of Flybe in January 2017.

Integral role
Flybe director Jonathan Peachey said, “On behalf of the entire Flybe board, I want to extend my gratitude to Christine for her commitment and significant contributions to Flybe.”

“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.”

Ourmieres-Widener added, “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.”

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