Flybe terminates MAEL contract

Flybe has served a ‘Notice of Termination’ to the UK’s Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) for what it says is “Breach of Contract”.

The MRO provider has supplied the regional carrier with line and light maintenance services at Birmingham Airport, and line maintenance services at Manchester Airport, since April 2013.

According to Flybe, MAEL took the decision to withdraw its services unilaterally “and in conflict with our contract, after close of business on Friday 23rd November 2018. MAEL recently finished a complex restructuring exercise resulting in a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement and Flybe had been wholly supportive of MAEL throughout that process.

“Flybe are therefore very disappointed by these events, which appear to have been undertaken without due consideration of our business, customers and operations, and with no legal justification.”

Since Friday, it added, all maintenance operations have been executed by Flybe staff and contracted agencies, with no adverse impact on the airline’s operations or customers.

It continued: “Flybe are sympathetic to the many employees of MAEL who may be affected by the loss of work at MAEL and will be offering employment opportunities for engineers at Birmingham and Manchester, increasing the size of Flybe bases at those locations and benefitting from establishing our own comprehensive maintenance operations.”

Flybe currently operates 192 routes serving 14 countries from 75 departure points in the UK and Europe, using a fleet of 76 aircraft – 54 Bombardier Q400, six Embraer E195, 11 E175 and five ATR 72s.

Last month MAEL said it had agreed the terms of a new ownership structure, with a transaction in which Greybull Capital LLP became the majority shareholder. MAEL’s lenders PNC would continue to provide facilities and support, it stated at the time. It added that the company’s maintenance facilities at Luton and Birmingham were “fully utilised, with contracted work stretching throughout 2019.”

Within the last year MAEL opened a new component maintenance facility in Northampton and had grown its workforce to more than 800 people.

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