Flybe - The Wider Implications

March 5, 2020

There is an unfortunate tendency towards over-reacting to many situations in which we find ourselves. It is not confined to the UK but is perhaps a part of being human. It is also however, an extraordinarily bad thing and leads (as it has throughout history) to adverse consequences. One example is that of the collapse of Flybe. 

  Opponents of aviation will be dancing on the grave of another failed airline but do so without thinking of the consequences for those who are suddenly out of work. Flybe's now former employees will look askance at the celebrating protesters and will be entitled to ask why they are so joyous at the misfortune of others.

  Predictably a number of trade unions have used the closure to blame the government. But why is the poor standard of management at Flybe - over a number of years - the fault of Prime Minister Boris Johnson?  Flybe's woes are indeed the product of years, not only the past few months.

  But there is a wider issue; one of the factors over the closure is the spread of the coronavirus. This, and the rapid reaction to it, is a classic case of the instant knee-jerk reaction.

  That this disease is of huge concern is not in doubt. But the response from almost everybody is deeply disquieting. From panic-buying in shops and stores, to the actions of the stock market, to the almost immediate drop in bookings for travel, to the absurd actions of a young British woman pouring every bottle of her partner's Corona Beer (which is from Mexico and shares only the name) down the kitchen sink while wearing a face mask and seen widely on an internet video, to just about every aspect of daily living, the all-consuming response has been one of panic-stricken immediacy. There are times when a quick response is needed but there are also times when a more measured and calm reaction is wise. Otherwise the result is not a pandemic but a panic-demic. 

  The Coronavirus has been the final straw for Flybe but the wider implications do not stop with another business closing.

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