AIRLINE operator Flybe has collapsed.

All Flybe flights to and from Southampton Airport are now grounded.

However, the government is now urging bus and train operators to accept Flybe tickets.

It is also calling on other airlines to offer reduced fares so passengers can make their journeys as "smoothly as possible".

Around 2,000 jobs are now believed to be at risk after fresh attempts to save the principal airline at Southampton Airport failed.

A government spokesperson said: " We recognise the impact this will have on Flybe's passengers and staff. Government staff will be on hand at all affected UK airports to help passengers.

"The vast majority of Flybe routes are served by different transport options, and we have asked bus and train operators to accept Flybe tickets and other airlines to offer reduced fares to ensure passengers can make their journeys as smoothly as possible.

We know this will be a worrying time for Flybe staff and our Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service stands ready to help them find a new job as soon as possible.

"We are working closely with industry to minimise any disruption to routes operated by Flybe, including by looking urgently at how routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established by the industry.

"Through the reviews of regional connectivity and Airport Passenger Duty we have announced, we will bring forward recommendations to help ensure that the while of the UK has the connections in place that people rely on."

Flybe's financial difficulties were longstanding and well documented and pre-date the outbreak of COVID-19.

"We are well prepared a potential outbreak and this week we have set out an action plan with details of our response.