A UK airline – that ran flights out of Cardiff Airports went into administration in the early hours of the morning on Thursday, March 5.

Exeter-based carrier, Flybe said coronovirus and its impact on the travel industry was partly to blame for its collapse.

The troubled airline had made a fresh bid for financial support, but it.

Two thousand jobs are now at risk.

The airline’s website advised customers to "not travel to the airport" unless they had arranged an alternative flight.

Flybe boss, Mark Anderson said he was "very sorry" for the firm's collapse.

Presenter and singer, Rhydian Bowen Phillips, of Barry, said he was due to fly from Cardiff to Paris for a trip to Disneyland with his wife and young son.

"(We were) made aware not to go to the airport via Flybe social accounts," he told PA, claiming that he had "nothing at all" in terms of direct contact from the airline.

He added that the trip was the family's first since having a baby and had been booked to celebrate his wife's birthday.

"Waiting to speak to Disney now... it was a package through them," he said, adding that he had been on hold hoping to speak to the holiday provider for over an hour.

A spokeswoman for travel trade association Abta said: "Flybe was the UK's largest regional airline and its failure, which has been brought about by well-publicised longstanding financial difficulties, will impact domestic connectivity, particularly in the short term.

"Customers that have booked a package holiday that includes a Flybe flight will be protected and should contact their travel company to discuss their options.

"A majority of bookings with the airline will have been booked as flights on their own for business travel and leisure trips, and in these cases customers should contact their credit card company or travel insurance provider.

For further advice, visit abta.com/flybe

"The failure of Flybe shines a light on the disparities in consumer protection between holidaymakers on package holidays and those who book their own arrangements directly with airlines and other suppliers.

"Abta has long argued for greater clarity regarding airline insolvency arrangements and we urge the government to initiate a full consultation as soon as possible to consider the recommendations of the Airline Insolvency Review."

Ryanair has launched rescue fares starting from 19.99 euro (£17.28) on five routes "to accommodate customers affected by Flybe's collapse".

The routes are Liverpool-Knock, Bournemouth-Dublin, Belfast-London Stansted, Bristol-Dublin and Belfast-Manchester.

Ryanair spokeswoman, Alejandra Ruiz said: "Ryanair customers can continue to enjoy the lowest fares and most reliable service, and we've released rescue fares to assist customers affected by Flybe ceasing operations.

"We are working with the CAA to accommodate passengers who may have been left stranded or have had their travel plans disrupted by the collapse of the airline.

"We again call for more robust and frequent stress tests on financially weak airlines and tour operators so customers are not the ones who suffer."

The fares are available for travel until the end of April and must be booked by midnight on Sunday.

Aviation consultant, John Strickland told the PA news agency: "It's been long in the making.

"It's an airline that operated in the most difficult part of the market, which is regional flying, which by nature is lower volume, more seasonal, far more subject to price sensitivities, than maybe some other larger markets.

"It was too big as an airline, which reflects overambitious decisions to order a very large fleet some years back.

"That's something that later generations of management have been trying to wrestle with.

"Add on top of that high tax burdens on tickets - the air passenger duty tax - and of course maybe even this coronavirus adding its weight with all the news about businesses cancelling travel, and you've got a recipe for what happened."

A British Airways spokesman said: "We're offering special fares to customers that are left without flights following the Flybe announcement and we'll bring home any stranded members of Flybe staff home for free.

"We will help as much as we can in the coming days."

The special one-way fares are set at £50 plus taxes, fees and charges. They include one piece of hold luggage.

They are available for flights to and from 15 airports across the UK and in foreign countries such as France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

One staff member, who has flown with Flybe for 16 years, told the PA news agency: "The people made Flybe. On the frontline, we were lions - lions led by donkeys."

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was "still in denial" about the news.

He added: "I still think this is a dream.

"We had been waiting for weeks on any kind of news and, by chance, the first hint of something bad was when at the gym yesterday.

"By teatime, it was looking bad and I was praying for a miracle.

“I've not slept all night and am worrying what I'm going to do next.

“I'm 35 and flown in total 16 years - this is basically all I've known.

"Working for an airline is more than work. You work 24/7, 365 days a year. You sometimes see colleagues more than you see your own family. They, in turn, become your surrogate family.

"The older ones look out for the younger ones and I've lost count of the numerous surrogate younger siblings. It was a real family affair. Mothers and daughters, husbands and wives. So many babies have been born due to the parents meeting at work."

Transport minister, Kelly Tolhurst said the government "stands ready" to support Flybe passengers and staff, but that it is not the role of the government to "prop up" firms which go bust.

In a statement, she told MPs: "Our immediate priority is to support passengers travelling home and employees who have lost their jobs.

"Unfortunately, in a competitive market, companies do fail and it is not the role of Government to prop them up."

Ms Tolhurst said there is "sufficient capacity" with other airlines to help passengers stranded abroad return home.

She told MPs: "Given the time of the year, the nature of Flybe's business and fleet, and the routes it flies - sufficient alternative transport routes should be available either with other airlines or by road and rail.

"The number of passengers abroad is small and it is further reduced as a result of coronavirus. For those passengers who are abroad, there is sufficient capacity on commercial airlines to return to the UK.

"The Civil Aviation Authority and the secretary of state are encouraging these airlines to offer rescue fares and this is already happening."

The Government has been "working tirelessly" to help Flybe stay flying but the spread of Covid-19 has hampered these efforts, Ms Tolhurst said.

She added: "We have been working tirelessly to explore multiple options with Flybe's shareholders to find a solution.

"Flybe outlined that problems with their business had been compounded by the outbreak of coronavirus which in the last few days had resulted in a significant impact on demand.

"The directors, therefore, decided it was not viable to keep Flybe operating."

Shadow transport minister, Karl Turner said: "The collapse of Flybe is disastrous news for passengers and employees alike and will cause real anxiety in many regions throughout this country.

"The loss of 2,000 jobs, many in areas very heavily reliant on aviation, will be an extremely heavy blow, as will the wider impact on supply chains and regional economies."

He added: "Yet again airline workers face an anxious and uncertain future whilst the Government has sat on its hands and allowed this to happen. Recent airline failures have already lost approximately 11,000 jobs. The Government must respond this time and provide Flybe staff with all the necessary support.

"Flybe has said the impact of coronavirus has impacted to its collapse, so I must ask the minister what assessment she has made of the risk to other airlines and what other preparations are in place?"

Mr Turner said: "The government must now answer how those vital regional links will be maintained following Flybe's collapse."

Ms Tolhurst said: "We are very lucky and we've been engaging with the industry who are pulling together, and there are some airlines who have said they are going to prioritise staff from Flybe to their recruitment process, so I think that's good and I'm hoping to see movement on that as time moves on."

Ms Tolhurst added: "I disagree with his statement that we have sat on our hands."

She told MPs: "I must be really clear, we are in this situation today because Flybe shareholders, directors, took the decision to place the business into insolvency.

“This is not where I, the aviation minister, wanted to be with Flybe and I am acutely aware of the impact that this will have on the regional airports throughout the country."

Pushed by the transport committee chairperson and Tory MP Huw Merriman on when the airline insolvency reform mentioned in the Queen's Speech will be brought forward, Ms Tolhurst said she is "keen to get that legislation moved forward as soon as possible".

Warning of the impact on regional connectivity, the SNP's transport spokesman, Gavin Newlands said: "There's no doubt that Flybe management have questions to answer, the warning signs have been clear for many, many years.

"However, though I do not blame the UK's government for Flybe's demise, it too has some serious questions to answer - the secretary of state stood at that despatch box and spoke of the rescuing of Flybe and yet here we are."

Ms Tolhurst replied that the department is "absolutely determined to make sure that we are able to continue as much as possible" regional routes.

The prime minister's official spokesman said the government is "urgently" working with airlines to encourage them to fill routes previously operated by Flybe.

He told a Westminster briefing: "In terms of the routes themselves, I think that we are working urgently with airlines to encourage them to act quickly to fill the routes that were previously operated by Flybe and which the regional airports rely upon.

"The transport secretary and ministers at DfT are also in close contact with the impacted airports, local authorities and the CAA to help understand the impacts on their businesses and local jobs so we can look at how best to support them."

The spokesman said the government did "everything possible" it could to avoid the collapse and added: "What we are doing now is having urgent conversations with those impacted to see how we can help as we move forward."

On whether the measures announced in January materialised, the PM's spokesman said: "We talked at the time about the fact that any support that we could offer would need to be on commercial terms and after careful due diligence of Flybe's affairs.

"We explored multiple options with the shareholders and directors to try to find a solution that would ensure a long-term future for the company.

"But, in a competitive market, companies do fail and Flybe's shareholders decided it was not viable to keep the company operating."

Labour former minister, Angela Eagle said: "If, at this very difficult time, infrastructure that might have survived without the problems caused by the coronavirus is allowed to go to the wall, then the effect of the coronavirus will not be as temporary as the (governor of the Bank of England) thought it would."

Ms Tolhurst said the government is preparing for the wider economic impact of the coronavirus.

Loganair's chief executive, Jonathan Hinkles said: "The collapse of a long-standing airline like Flybe marks a desperately sad day, especially for the airline's dedicated team of employees and for customers facing disruption to their journeys.

"By stepping in quickly with a comprehensive plan, Loganair is aiming to maintain essential air connectivity within the UK regions to keep customers flying, and to offer new employment to former Flybe staff members who are facing an uncertain future today."

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps tweeted: "My thanks to rail operators accepting #Flybe tickets & providing staff free journeys, @easyjet offering dedicated rescue fees & @FlyLoganair opening special recruitment line for former Flybe employees.

"More to follow..." he added.

A spokesman for British Airways' parent company IAG said: "Flybe has not been financially viable for many years.

"If its wealthy shareholders didn't wish to fund its survival, it would have been preposterous for the government to do so."

The government is working "urgently" with airlines to re-establish routes that have been left uncovered by the collapse of Flybe, Downing Street said.

Asked about the airline falling into administration, the prime minister's official spokesman said: "We are working with the industry and we are working with UK airports and with the Civil Aviation Authority to look at the impact which this will have and to see what help we can provide.

"These discussions that we are having include looking urgently at how the routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established by the industry."