Struggling UK regional Duo ceases operations

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UK regional operator Duo Airways has ceased flight operations and been placed under the control of administrators after failing to secure additional funding.

Two partners at finance firm Deloitte & Touche – Bill Dawson and Andrew Peters – have been appointed as administrators for the airline.

“Following this appointment, Duo has ceased to trade and there will be no further flights,” says the carrier.

Duo emerged from a management buy-out of the loss-making UK division of Danish carrier Maersk Air last year. It subsequently established operations out of bases in Birmingham and Edinburgh using a fleet of Bombardier regional jets.

It had initially continued to fly as a British Airways franchise carrier before splitting from the mainline airline last November. The regional operator has since been serving routes to continental Europe and Scandinavia.

But Duo has struggled to survive. Its revenues have fallen short of forecasts and the tough economic conditions, combined with a failure to obtain extra investment, have forced the company to stop trading.

Deloitte’s Dawson says: “There was a real prospect that Duo could find these funds to support its growing booking levels but, although the board worked hard to achieve this, unfortunately the additional investments did not come through in time.”

Duo employs around 300 staff, primarily in Birmingham. Its fleet includes four Bombardier CRJ700s, which are owned by the airline, as well as three Bombardier CRJ200s leased from Aviation Financial Services.

The administrators have warned that passengers scheduled to fly on Duo will have to seek reimbursement, and that passengers already abroad will have to make alternative arrangements to return.

Deloitte is assessing the airline’s business situation and the administrators will have to report to the carrier’s creditors within eight weeks.

“We will not be in a position to assess the chances of any reimbursement until the likely outcome from the realisation of assets is known,” says Deloitte.