Flybe's profit falls as costs increase
UK regional carrier Flybe is on a "clear path to sustainable profitability", chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener has insisted.
That's despite the airline confirming a sharp fall in first-half profits due to previously flagged cost increases linked to maintenance and IT.
Adjusted pre-tax profit nearly halved to £8.4m (€9.5m) in the six months to the end of September.
"We have made good progress in the first half of the year and with our fleet size under control, we are already delivering improvements to passenger yield and load factors," said Ms Ourmieres-Widener.
Flybe said that its revenue rose 11.6pc to £406.8m (€456m) in the half-year period, while seat capacity edged 3pc higher.
It carried 5.2 million passengers in the six-month period, 8.8pc higher than in the first half of the previous financial year. Load factor - the percentage of available seats it sold - increased by four percentage points to 76pc. The chief executive has been working to continue right-sizing Flybe's fleet.
"In the second half, we will focus on improving our cost base and reliability performance while preparing the business for the future as we invest in the new digital platform," she said.
Flybe has an agreement with Dublin-based Stobart Air, which operates some Flybe routes on a franchised basis. London Southend Airport is part of the Stobart Group, as is Stobart Air.
Stobart Air leased two Embraer E195 regional jets from Flybe this year. Flybe wet leased the aircraft to Stobart Air, providing the Dublin-based firm with crew for the jets.
The jets are operated by Stobart Air as Flybe-branded aircraft. The wet lease agreements for the jets will soon convert to so-called dry-leases, where Stobart Air will provide the crew.