Flybe confirms it will get a tax and duty holiday

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Flybe has hit out at reports that the regional airline a payment holiday of up to £100m from tax authorities.

It has agreed a payment plan with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for “less than £10m” it said.

It said the arrangement would be for a “matter of months” before the tax and duties are paid off.

The airline defended the move as “a standard Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC that any business in financial difficulties may use”.

The government’s support is thought to centre on giving the airline extra time to pay outstanding Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Flybe’s owners Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital have agreed to invest £30m into the airline.

On Thursday, the firm confirmed the airline is in talks with the government over a loan, but chief executive Mark Anderson said the financial support did not constitute a bailout.

Mark Anderson told Flybe staff the firm had had a few “difficult days” this week but it still had “a great future”.

He said the company’s turnaround plan had started to work and that with more time it would be making a big profit.

Rival airlines have called for more details of the government’s role in helping Flybe to be made public.

They argue that support for the troubled regional carrier may contravene competition rules.