Administrators are finalising the sale of Flybe Aviation Services, the MRO operation of Flybe which had continued to trade after the collapse of the UK regional airline.

Accountancy firm EY said offers had been made for the division with the transaction likely to complete in the coming days.

MRO approvals restored to enable preservation of fleet

Exeter-based Flybe Aviation Services has European approvals for supporting aircraft including Embraer ERJs and E-Jets, Bombardier CRJs and turboprops, ATRs. Approval for the MRO arm of the carrier was restored on March 10, five days after the collapse of the airline. The approval was restored to enable preservation of the 65-strong fleet.

EY has stated that they also plan to sell a maintenance function once it is no longer needed to service the remaining fleet. Leases were terminated following the failure of the airline but the administrators stated that returns had been “hampered” by aircraft not being in the required condition, with a need for a “significant amount” of asset swaps to restore them.

Current market for aircraft is “significantly depressed”

Costs arising from maintenance are being covered by aircraft lessors and financiers. The administrators added that the current market for aircraft was “significantly depressed” with offers low against valuation. Engines are also being marketed, some of would need removing from aircraft before their sale.

The statement for approvals reveals Flybe’s operating loss for the fiscal year to March 31 as £215 million, around the same level as its market capitalisation from its initial public offering in 2010.

Unsecured creditors will receive no return from the company. The total of unsecured claims have reached at least £317 million with just £600,000 available for distribution.