Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL) has terminated the provision of maintenance services to Flybe, which has been a key customer for a number of years.

Flybe says that MAEL, which has recently been through an ownership restructuring, “unilaterally and in conflict with our contract” withdrew its services on 23 November.

The UK regional carrier has been a customer for line maintenance and overnight checks on Bombardier Q400 turboprops and Embraer E-Jets at MAEL’s Birmingham hangar, since the purpose-built facility was opened in 2013. Additionally, the contract covered line maintenance services at Manchester airport.

Flybe says it is “very disappointed” about the move, which, it adds, “[appears] to have been undertaken without due consideration of our business, customers and operations, and with no legal justification”.

The airline says it has been “wholly supportive” throughout MAEL’s “complex restructuring” process, which led to the agreement of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with the MRO provider’s creditors.

Flybe has, meanwhile, conducted all maintenance requirements with its own staff and contracted service providers, “without any adverse impact” on its operations, it says.

The airline adds that it is “sympathetic to the many employees of MAEL who may be affected by the loss of work”, and that it will offer job opportunities for engineers in Birmingham and Manchester.

Earlier this month, Flybe disclosed that it is considering a sale of its business, with Virgin Atlantic considering an offer for the Exeter-based carrier.

MAEL says: “Due to circumstances we cannot disclose, we decided to suspend repair and maintenance operations for Flybe on 23 November.”

The MRO provider notes that Flybe subsequently terminated the contract on 27 November.

In an earlier version, the third paragraph incorrectly gave Manchester as the location of the hangar where Q400 and E-Jet work is undertaken

Source: Cirium Dashboard