A SOUTHAMPTON Airport taxi firm has closed down its operation "with immediate effect" after Flybe announced it had gone into administration, it has been reported.

Checker Cars, who operate at Southampton Airport, has announced in a letter to the company's drivers that the business has been forced to close due to Southampton Airport's largest airliner collapsing.

It is said that there are "insufficient passengers" at the Airport in order to justify a dedicated Airport Taxi operation and that this is a "very sad day" for the company.

In the letter, David Crouch, director of Checker Cars, said: "Obviously it is only a matter of hours since Flybe ceased trading and went into administration. The upshot is that without Flybe, there is insufficient passenger throughput at Southampton Airport to justify a dedicated on Airport Taxi (Private Hire) operation. It is indeed a very sad day.

"It is unlikely that the airport to replace Flybe as an airline, overnight, especially with the country in the grip of the Coronavirus epidemic. On that basis, as sad as it is, Checker Cars has no other alternative than to close down its operation at Southampton Airport with immediate effect."

He added: "A big thank you for all your hard work and efforts at the Airport over many years, with most of you going above and beyond the call of duty in supplying a first class Taxi service and being an integral part of the Southampton Airport experience."

As previously reported, Flybe went into administration, after fresh attempts to save the company failed.

The airliner was responsible for 95% of the Airport's flights and there are around 2,000 jobs believed to be at risk.

The Daily Echo has contacted Checker Cars, who have declined to comment on the matter and Southampton Airport is yet to respond.