Hilco Streambank (“Hilco”) is seeking offers to acquire certain intellectual property assets of Flybe Limited (In Administration) (“Flybe” or the “Company”) on behalf of the Joint Administrators of the Company, David John Pike and Michael Robert Pink of Interpath Advisory.
Hilco is delighted to present the unique opportunity to acquire the brand assets behind what was formerly Europe’s largest regional airline.
Flybe created a legacy in British low-cost travel since its inception in 1979. The airline brand was launched in the form of Jersey European Airways after the merger between Intra Airways and Express Air Services. The two companies previously operated close to the English Channel. As a result, they decided to combine their scheduled passenger and cargo services network. After four years of serving regional flights from Jersey, the industrialist Jack Walker bought the business. The businessman also owned Walkersteel Group, the parent company of charter airline Spacegrand.
Flybe flourished to become a dominant player in the United Kingdom, earning its first route from the Channel Islands to London in 1991. With its operations expanding rapidly, Flybe introduced its business class in 1993, giving Flybe the accolade of being the first domestic airline to hold two classes. In the same year, the Flybe acquired a new fleet to facilitate its expansion, serving routes to Belfast and Birmingham. The brand’s meteoric rise helped it receive the “Best UK Regional Airline” award in 1993 and 1994. By 1997, partnering with French airline Air France, Flybe became an international brand with services offered to Paris.
The Company had a short-lived name change in June 2000 following a rebrand to British European. However, seeking to reposition itself in the market, in July 2002, the airline emerged with a new identity, trading under the well-known and much-loved Flybe brand name.
In 2007, Flybe acquired rival BA Connect, greatly expanding the airline’s network and enabling it to become Europe’s largest regional airline. In 2008, Flybe secured a franchise agreement with Scottish airline Loganair, which saw Loganair aircraft adopt the distinctive Flybe branding on 55 routes from Scotland. Fast forward to 2010, Flybe’s continued growth and commercial expansion saw the Company floated in an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, with a valuation of c. £215m.
Continuing to grow, in 2014, Flybe announced that it would launch domestic and international flights from London City Airport after signing a five-year deal with the airport, with the airline poised to service over 500k passengers a year as part of the deal. A busy year for Flybe, in 2014, the Company announced its major brand refresh, unveiling its iconic purple colour scheme that still defines the brand today.
In 2019, Flybe’s purchase from a consortium led by industry heavyweights Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air reinvigorated the airline. Flybe would later have a brief stint as Virgin Connect, rebranded in 2020 to reflect its incorporation into the Virgin Group. As of January 2020, Flybe operated 36% of all UK domestic flights (ahead of the UK’s two largest airlines, British Airways and EasyJet), carrying 26% of domestic passengers.
The former Flybe entered Administration in 2020, but a testament to the brand’s strength, later re-emerged under new ownership and with renewed vigour.
The brand re-launched with the slogan “smile and go the extra mile,” seeking to reignite the admiration for the brand’s aim of delivering affordable and comfortable travel, embodying its commitment to customer service, and “going the extra mile”. Carefully executed digital marketing efforts saw the brand re-penetrate the market, reaffirming its position in the hearts and minds of consumers and amassing over 312k followers across its social media channels.
This opportunity offers a prospective buyer the chance to acquire the brand and supporting assets behind a much-loved and respected player in the travel industry in the UK and beyond and reignite the brand in the market.
The Flybe brand has a rich and colourful heritage, having been used since 2002 when British European, originally founded in 1979 as Jersey European Airways, rebranded as Flybe.
Transitioning from British European to Flybe, the Company created a succinct and memorable corporate brand.
Flybe attracted significant media attention from the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent and The Financial Times.
Flybe employed a purple colour palette in its branding, told to reflect its “passion for delivering on our commitment to being faster than rail and road – ‘The Fastest Way from A to Flybe’.”
The Flybe brand is a much-loved and respected airline giant, having served millions of passengers and employing several thousand employees across the UK and internationally.
UK and international trade marks protect the Flybe brand name and logos.
A full trade mark schedule is available via a virtual data room.
The Company has a portfolio of domain names, including the high-traffic flybe.com domain name. A full domain name schedule is available via a virtual data room.
The Company owns the copyright in the website content hosted on various domains. Following a brand refresh in April 2022, the modernised website launched and saw over 100k unique visitors within two days of launching.
Rights in the popular Flybe-branded social media accounts are also available to acquire across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, with almost 312k followers across the various platforms.
All expressions of interest and bids are to be directed to Hilco in writing. A Bid Submission Form is available on request. Please contact Hilco to gain access to a virtual data room of further information on signing a confidentiality agreement.
The Joint Administrators act as an agent of the Company and without personal liability.
The bidder acknowledges that Hilco acts as an agent for the Joint Administrators who offer for sale only what right, title and interest (if any) the Company possesses in the assets. Such sale will be without any warranties, expressed or implied. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco or the Joint Administrators and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.
VAT, if applicable, at 20% will be added to the price. A non-refundable deposit of 20% will be payable by the buyer within 48 hours of bid acceptance. A buyer’s premium of 10% of the sale price is payable by the winning bidder. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco’s full Terms and Conditions apply.