Business World

Sunday 18 February 2018

Airline Flybe back in the black to post €2.1m profit

An estimated 2,750 jets remain in hangers
An estimated 2,750 jets remain in hangers
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

UK regional airline Flybe has returned to the black, posting a £1.7m (€2.1m) adjusted pre-tax profit for the year to the end of March, compared to a £23.6m (€29.3m) loss the previous year.

It's the first time in four years that it has made a profit.

The airline, whose routes include services to Ireland, said that it had completed a "successful turnaround" and that there's an "encouraging" economic backdrop in the UK.

Group revenue edged 1pc higher to £620.5m (€768.6m), while its UK passenger numbers and load factors generated record figures for the company.

Chief executive Saad Hammad said that Flybe had a plan and "the firepower" to develop the business further and said the latest financial year marked a "rebirth" of the carrier.

Flybe axed more than 1,000 jobs as it struggled to survive, while further cuts will be made this summer as it eliminates some seasonal routes.

"We implemented a turnaround plan to stabilise the business and then successfully raised over £150m (€186m) net to strengthen our balance sheet and drive sustainable profit growth," said Mr Hammad.

"The return to profitability is a great step forward. This enables us to start implementing our twin-engine strategy of growing our UK branded business and our white label operations across Europe."

Flybe recently announced a franchise deal with Stobart Air, which sees the latter operate six routes from London Southend on behalf of Flybe.

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