Airline Flybmi ceases operations

BMI Embraer 145Image copyright
BMI Regional

Image caption

Flybmi has a fleet of Embraer jets

British regional airline Flybmi has cancelled all its flights and filed for administration, the airline has announced.

The company said it had been badly affected by rises in fuel and carbon costs and uncertainty over Brexit.

The East Midlands-based airline, which has 376 staff, operates 17 planes flying to 25 European cities.

Affected passengers have been told to contact their travel agents or insurance and credit card companies.

A Flybmi spokesman said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement.

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe.”

The airline issued the following advice to those due to fly:

  • People who booked directly with Flybmi should contact their card issuer to seek a refund.
  • Passengers who booked via a travel agent or one of Flybmi’s partner airlines should contact them to see what their options are.
  • Those with travel insurance should see if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority also published advice for travellers.

Richard Edwards, from West Sussex, on a skiing holiday in Austria with his wife and three children, told how they had experienced problems with their scheduled flight out to Munich.

He said: “We had gone through security at Bristol Airport when there was an announcement saying our flight had been cancelled.

“They laid on taxis to Heathrow and booked us on a Lufthansa flight to Munich.

“I don’t know how we will get back yet. I’m not confident Flybmi will be able to sort it.”

Durham University student Mary Ward found out her flight could be affected when her mother showed her a news alert.

Shortly afterwards Mary received a text from the airline: “URGENT: Important message for Flybmi customers. All flights are cancelled. Please go to http://www.flybmi.com for further details. Thank you.”

She had been due to fly from Belgium to Newcastle but is not sure what she will do now.

“I paid £130 for my flight which it doesn’t seem I’m going to get back – I don’t know how I am going to get back to Durham,” she said.

“I can’t afford any of the flights or the Eurostar.”

The UK regional airline Flybe tweeted to reassure some passengers who had confused the airline with the similar-sounding Flybmi.

British Airline Pilots’ Association general secretary Brian Strutton said: “The collapse of Flybmi is devastating news for all employees.

“Regrettably Balpa had no warning or any information from the company at all.”

“Our immediate steps will be to support Flybmi pilots and explore with the directors and administrators whether their jobs can be saved.”

Last year the airline ran 29,000 flights, carrying 522,000 passengers.

Flying from Aberdeen, Derry, Bristol, the East Midlands, Stansted and Newcastle in the UK, its planes travelled to destinations in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

One of Flybmi’s domestic routes, linking Derry and Stansted, was subsidised by the government to boost trade and travel between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Several people use the flights for work and Derry Strabane Council said it was in emergency talks with the Department of Transport to seek a replacement airline on that route.

Travel expert Simon Calder told BBC News it had been an “extremely difficult winter” for many airlines.

“Small airlines which do not have the weight of their bigger rivals are particularly vulnerable,” he said. “There are simply too many seats and not enough people.”


Are you a Flybmi customer that has been affected? Or are you a Flybmi employee? Get in touch by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

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Three injured after medical emergency at Hamilton performance mistaken for active shooter

Three attendees of a Friday night performance of Hamilton in San Francisco were injured after a medical emergency was allegedly mistaken for an active shooter situation.

According to a series of tweets from the San Francisco Fire Department, an automated external defibrillator (AED) was pulled when an individual suffered a medical emergency during the showing at The Orpheum Theatre. The AED also triggered an alarm during the performance that resulted in “confusion and an un-organized rapid exit of the theater.”

Journalist Joe Khalil, who was present for the showing, tweeted the “mass panic” was fueled when “members of the audience started screaming and running.” He noted, “shouts of ‘gun’ could be heard.”

A representative for the San Francisco Police Department told EW it appeared the triggered alarm coincided with the sounds of gunfire from the production, at which point the audience began “self-evacuating.”

“During this process, 3 additional adults were injured, one with a broken leg, and 2 with moderate injuries,” the SFFD account tweeted.

The rep further confirmed to EW that the initial woman needing medical assistance, whose pulse returned with CPR and paramedics, was transported to the hospital with life-threatening conditions. She remains in critical condition, though an update on the conditions of the other injured was not known at the time.

In addition to releasing a tweet on the incident, the Shorenstein Hays Nederlander (SHN), the theatrical entertainment company from the Bay Area, offered a statement to EW.

“The producers of Hamilton and SHN are reviewing the events that brought an abrupt end to the performance in San Francisco last night and resulted in alarm and confusion for the audience at the SHN Orpheum Theatre,” it reads. “Uncertainty in the auditorium about a medical emergency taking place near the end of the show spread quickly and prompted the upset. Along with SHN, the owners of the Orpheum, we remain dedicated to protecting the safety of our audiences and our own company members in every city where Hamilton plays. Patrons at last night’s performance are in the process of being contacted and invited to return to see Hamilton at the Orpheum.”

This article has been updated with a statement from the SHN. 

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If you invested $1,000 in Coca-Cola 10 years ago, here’s how much you’d have now

Coca-Cola, the parent company of popular soft drink Coke, has proven enduringly successful over the years: It ranked No. 6 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable brands in 2018, with a whopping $57.3 billion value.

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The company has gotten its share of celebrity endorsements, too: Warren Buffett says he’s a “Coke loyalist,” and Berkshire Hathaway is a longstanding investor.

If you invested in the company 10 years ago, that decision could have paid off. According to CNBC calculations, a $1,000 investment in Coca-Cola in 2009 would be worth more than $2,800 as of Feb. 15, 2019.

While the company’s stock price has been largely steady over the past decade, though, any individual stock can over- or underperform, and past returns do not predict future results.

CNBC: Coca-Cola stock as of Feb. 15, 2019

Shares fell Thursday and were on track for their worst day since the Great Recession. The company’s stock price fell 7.5 percent and its net sales fell 6 percent. (Net sales still topped expectations.)

Chief executive officer James Quincey told analysts that currency fluctuations, Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and changing tax rates could be responsible for the stock’s slide. “Clearly, that is leading to an [earnings per share] growth that is not what we aspire to,” he said.

He expressed similar concerns at the 49th World Economic Forum in Davos: “I think we are in the phase of 2019 where we are likely to see a little less growth. It is going to be a slightly tougher year in macroeconomic terms and we need to work our way through it.”

Some analysts see problems facing the traditional soda market overall. Ivan Feinseth, of financial firm Tigress Financial Partners, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” that “there is no growth in carbonated soda,” and that brands like Coke and longtime rival Pepsi need to get creative.

They’ll need to “continue to develop or acquire other alternatives,” Feinseth explains, like sparking water, flavored seltzers, teas and sports drinks, since “that’s where the growth is, in the niche beverage markets.”

Coca-Cola does offer products besides sodas, and it continues to diversify its portfolio. The company made six new acquisitions in 2018, among them coffee chain Costa Coffee. They also own popular beverage brands Dasani, Minute Maid and Powerade.

And Quincey said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the company will take time to “absorb” the investments it made last year.

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In pictures: India mourns Kashmir dead

Rapid Action Force soldiers and a child from one of their families hold candles as they pay tribute to personnel during a candlelight vigil in BhopalImage copyright
EPA

Thousands of mourners have been attending funerals across India for some of the security force personnel killed by a suicide bomber in Indian-administered Kashmir on Thursday.

At least 40 paramilitary police died in the attack near Srinagar.

The militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad said it carried out the attack.

India has imposed a swathe of economic measures on Pakistan after the attack, including revoking Most Favoured Nation trading status and raising customs duty to 200%.

Although Jaish-e-Mohammad is based in Pakistan, Islamabad has denied any role in the attack.

Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but control only parts of it.

Relatives of Central Reserve Police Force soldier Sukhjinder Singh mourn near his coffin before his cremation ceremony at village Gandiwind in Tarn Taran districtImage copyright
EPA

Relatives of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldier Sukhjinder Singh mourn as his coffin is taken to his cremation ceremony at the village of Gandiwind in the Tarn Taran district of India’s Punjab state.

Mourners gather to watch the cremation at the funeral for Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper Kaushal Kumar Rawat in AgraImage copyright
AFP

The cremation is held for CRPF trooper Kaushal Kumar Rawat in Agra.

Central Reserve Police Force and Rapid Action Force soldiers and their family members hold candles as they pay tribute to personnel during a candlelight vigil in BhopalImage copyright
EPA

CRPF and Rapid Action Force soldiers hold candles in tribute to dead colleagues during a vigil in Bhopal.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers bow to pay tribute next to a coffin containing the remains of their colleague Bablu Santra in Howrah, West BengalImage copyright
Reuters

An elderly woman cries as she hugs Bonomala Santra (R), mother of Bablu Santra, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper killed on Thursday, at Bauria village in Howrah district, West BengalImage copyright
Reuters

CRPF officers bow in tribute (top) to colleague Bablu Santra in Howrah, West Bengal, as his mother (above right) mourns him in the village of Bauria.

Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel stand as a guard of honour for colleagues Sudip Biswas and Bablu Santra at Kolkata airportImage copyright
AFP

CRPF personnel stand guard over the coffins of Sudip Biswas and Bablu Santra at Kolkata airport.

People attend a vigil in front of India Gate war memorial in Delhi, for personnel killed on ThursdayImage copyright
Reuters

People attend a vigil in front of the India Gate war memorial in Delhi.

Mourners touch the coffin as they take part in the funeral procession for Indian Central Reserve Police Force trooper Mahesh Kumar Meena at Meja village, near AllahabadImage copyright
AFP

A large number of mourners gather on the bank of the Ganges river to attend the funeral procession for trooper Mahesh Kumar Meena near AllahabadImage copyright
AFP

The coffin of Mahesh Kumar Meena arrives near Allahabad (top) and hundreds gather on the bank of the Ganges for his funeral procession.

Villagers gather in large numbers as body of slain Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldier Tilak Raj arrives at his home in village Dhewa Jandroh, some 90km from DharamsalaImage copyright
EPA

Dozens more gather for the return of the body of CRPF member Tilak Raj at his home in the village of Dhewa Jandroh, 90km (55 miles) from Dharamsala.

An Indian army soldier looks from the vehicle as they carry out a flag march during curfew in JammuImage copyright
EPA

Tension remains high in Jammu, Indian-administered Kashmir, amid a curfew.

All pictures copyright

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Watch Kacey Musgraves crown RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 winners at L.A. concert

The reigning queen of the Grammys has crowned a pair of her fellow royals.

Following Friday night’s jaw-dropping RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 finale — which saw Mama Ru inducting two winning queens into the Drag Race Hall of Fame for the first time in series history — country singer Kacey Musgraves invited the freshly minted champions onstage for their first public crowning during the Los Angeles stop of her Oh, What a World Tour.

“If you’re here tonight, it means you’re missing out on the season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” Musgraves told the audience gathered at L.A.’s Theatre at Ace Hotel. “And I was lucky enough to go hang out with Ru and the queens this season. Tonight we have not one, but two queens!”

All-Stars 4 champions Monét X Change and Trinity The Tuck then joined Musgraves for a rendition of her 2018 single “High Horse” while she presented them with their crowns and scepters.

Photographer Catherine Powell later posted an adorable backstage photos she snapped at the concert, which shows Musgraves applying lipstick in a makeup mirror next to Trinity and Monét.

Musgraves, whose 2018 LP Golden Hour won the Grammy for Album of the Year last Sunday, has long supported RuPaul‘s Emmy-winning reality competition series: She previously expressed interest in casting All-Stars 3 champion Trixie Mattel in one of her music videos and subsequently appeared as a guest judge on All-Stars 4 in December.

RuPaul’s Drag Race returns for season 11 Thursday, Feb. 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET on VH1. Watch Musgraves crown Monét and Trinity above.

Related: 

RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who’s in and who’s out.

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Anthony Davis: ‘I Never Said’ Celtics Weren’t on List of Preferred Trade Spots

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

Anthony Davis has a list of preferred destinations, and it’s good news for Boston Celtics fans.

Davis, speaking to reporters as part of his All-Star media availability, confirmed the previously reported list of Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks is “true.” When asked specifically about the Boston Celtics, though, Davis made it clear they are a contender for his services.

“They are on my list…I never said Boston wasn’t on my list,” Davis told reporters, before repeating the latter sentence when asked for clarification.

All 29 other teams are on my list,” Davis later said on NBATV. “I don’t have a preferred destination. I just want to win. Big market, small market, I don’t care. I want to win.”

Davis publicly requested a trade through his agent, Rich Paul, last month. He informed the Pelicans he would not sign a supermax extension this summer and would leave the franchise in 2020 if he is not traded. 

The timing of the trade request seemed to be a concerted effort from Paul and Davis to get the six-time All-Star to the Lakers, where he’d pair with LeBron James. The Celtics cannot trade for Davis until after July 1 when Kyrie Irving becomes a free agent because they are both currently playing under Rose Rule extensions.

Irving will be a free agent this summer and can sign a new contract with the Celtics that would allow Boston to trade for Davis. The Celtics are widely seen to have the best trade package to offer the Pelicans, provided they’re willing to offer Jayson Tatum as part of the deal.

The Davis situation has been a complete fiasco from every perspective since his trade request went public. The Lakers ploy never worked. New Orleans appeared to have no interest in negotiating seriously ahead of the deadline, and Lakers president Magic Johnson said he did not believe he and the Pelicans had good faith talks.

Davis, who sat out prior to the deadline, returned to the lineup after not being traded despite the Pelicans preferring to continue holding him out. The NBA intervened on Davis’ behalf in discussions with New Orleans, and the result has been awkward at best and tragic at worst.

The 25-year-old is averaging just 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in four games since the deadline, highlighted by a three-point, six-rebound performance in Tuesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic.

Davis suffered a shoulder injury in Thursday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and left the Smoothie King Center with Paul before the game’s conclusion. The optics of Davis leaving—it was later revealed he went to get an MRI—ultimately helped spur the firing of general manager Dell Demps, who was let go Friday. 

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Kelly Clarkson is a star reborn with this cover of Lady Gaga’s ‘Shallow’

Kelly Clarkson is far from the “Shallow” now.

During Green Bay, WI tour stop on Friday night, the Meaning of Life singer, 36, delivered a powerhouse cover of Lady Gaga’s Oscar-nominated hit from the film A Star Is Born. Clarkson shared it online as part of her latest “A Minute and a Glass of Wine” segment.

“This song, I love it… I thought she and Bradley Cooper did an awesome job,” she told the crowd, adding, “We’re gonna do our version of it ’cause obviously, I don’t have a Bradley Cooper here. So I’m just holding it down.”

Just call Clarkson the cover queen with all the covers she delivered over the years. We wouldn’t be mad if she decided to release a new album purely of covers, like with “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman, “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Broadway’s Hamilton, and The Guess Who’s “American Woman.”

Gushing of Lady Gaga, Clarkson said on stage, “We’re really different but we’re really similar in the fact that she loves music and that’s why she’s doing what she’s doing. Honestly, I remember her first single, we actually did a show together combined for some event and she is one of the only artists that has ever [sent] me a hand-written letter saying, ‘Thank you so much, it was an honor to open for you.’ She’s the nicest lady ever.”

Watch a clip of the cover in the video above, and for the full 20-minute “A Minute and a Glass of Wine,” check out Clarkson’s Facebook below.

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