Flybmi has become the latest victim of Europe’s fiercely competitive air travel market, announcing the end of all operations.

It is controlled by the Airline Investments Limited (AIL) Group which also controls Loganair.

In a statement the airline said: "It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today (Saturday February 16th).

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe.

“Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40 million in the last six years.

“We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.”

Loganair said: "The two airlines are separate businesses, operating separate aircraft fleets on their own distinct route networks. 

"As such, the closure of bmi Regional – which flew Embraer Regional Jet aircraft on routes throughout 12 European countries – has no impact on Loganair’s continued operation, which predominantly uses turboprop aircraft on routes within the UK and in particular to, from and within the Scottish Highlands & Islands.

"The same challenges that have led to bmi Regional ceasing operations, including uncertainty around intra-European traffic rights post-Brexit, do not impact Loganair’s business.

“Loganair expects to return to profit in the current financial year, is carrying record passenger numbers on many of its routes and is in a strong financial position,” said Managing Director Jonathan Hinkles.

He added that Logainair was "actively working on options to offer employment to a number of bmi Regional staff members whilst at the same time monitoring developments elsewhere in the UK regional airline sector which could present opportunities for Loganair.”

Flybmi customers have been advised to contact their payment card issuer to get a refund for flights, while those who have booked through a travel agent or partner airlines are advised to contact their agent or airline for details of their options.

The collapse of Flybmi affects 376 employees across the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

Flybmi is headquartered at East Midlands Airport and its scheduled network of 25 routes includes links to Oslo, Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and London Stansted.

The carrier currently operates a fleet of four Embraer ERJ-135 and 15 ERJ-145 jets.

Flybmi operates a number of charter shuttle services, including on behalf of Airbus.

Overcapacity in the European aviation sector has resulted in the demise of airline operators such as Monarch Airlines while regional operator Flybe also faces a crisis.  Flybe has warned shareholders it will wind up the company if they do not back a sale to a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air.  The airline said failure to approve a sale would mean investors were unlikely to get anything for their shares.  The airline's board agreed the £2.2m sale to Connect Airways group last month, but the deal needs investor approval at a meeting on 4 March.

Both the uncertainties surrounding Brexit and a year-long higher oil price in 2018 have wiped off profits – or attempts to become profitable – at even the most financially stable airline carriers.

Winter is also a difficult time for European airlines, given the lower demand but continuing high costs.

A sharp increase in Air Traffic Control strikes across Europe also wrought havoc on airlines last year.

Picture by Inverness Aviation Photography shows a former flybmi jet airliner in Loganair colours after the aircraft was transferred last year