The collapse of Flybe will cause significant damage to the Hampshire economy, according to Hampshire County Council.

Similarly, Flybe going into administration will be a huge blow to the county, say civic chiefs who are now calling on the government to take action.

The flight operator went into administration in the early hours of Thursday.

With talks to save the company failing, around 2,000 jobs are now at risk.

Flybe flights account for 95 per cent of journeys to and from Southampton Airport with passengers yesterday describing the terminal as deserted.

Commenting on the situation, the leader of Hampshire County Council, Keith Mans, said: “The decision by the Flybe Board yesterday, which effectively means all of their operations are likely to cease, is a huge blow to Hampshire, particularly to Southampton Airport, and to all those who work there, and whose jobs support Flybe’s operations.

“The collapse of Flybe will cause significant damage to the local economy, both in terms of jobs and to our interconnectivity with other regional centres. We know that many people saw Flybe as a vital service, particularly for business travel.

“The announcement also graphically illustrates how important it is that the Government looks at actual need rather than geographical location when it comes to supporting different parts of the country with the new Shared Prosperity Fund. The South East is the engine of the country’s economy – contributing more to national prosperity than any other region outside of London, keeping the UK globally competitive.

“However, good connectivity is key – and with our roads and railways at capacity, it is clear that urgent investment and national support is vital for the continued economic success not only of the South East but also the whole country.”

With the skies above Southampton now quieter, UK regional airline, Eastern Airways has announced it will take on three new routes formerly operated by Flybe.

These include Southampton-Manchester and Southampton-Newcastle and Aberdeen-Birmingham.

Flights will reportedly all start next week with the schedule released for sale imminently.

Tony Burgess, Managing Director of Eastern Airways, said: “We do extend sympathy to all Flybe staff and their families following the sad news that Flybe has ceased trading.

“As a former franchise partner of Flybe, this will not impact on any flights and routes operated by Eastern Airways. Revised booking facilities on Eastern Airways services will be advised on, which includes the quick recovery on Aberdeen-Birmingham, Southampton-Manchester and Southampton-Newcastle routes.

“Eastern Airways remains fully committed to providing regional connectivity with business links to capital cities and industrial centres.”