Airline in turnaround

Flybe returns to profit after five years

FlybeFlybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has returned to profit for the first time since its market flotation in 2010 and after five years of losses.

The airline has reported adjusted profit before tax of £5.5m for the year to the end of March compared to a loss before tax of £25.4m in last time.

Passenger volumes grew by 6% across an expanded route network and it liabilities have been signifcantly reduced. With the redeployment of the E195s aircraft, all of the company’s key legacy issues have now been resolved and £750m of liabilities eliminated.

This performance was delivered despite the adverse industry-wide impact on bookings experienced following the events in Paris in November and in Brussels in March.

Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad said: “This year was the second full year of our three-year transformation plan and our performance has been very encouraging.

“We delivered top-line growth in a difficult revenue environment, expanding our network and carrying more passengers than last year. We drove our unit costs down further. We also resolved our last key legacy issue, with solutions delivered for our remaining E195 jets.

“As a result of all the action we have taken, Flybe is now a much more resilient business and well positioned for profitable growth.

“With the strongest balance sheet in our history and a disciplined organisation which is already taking cost and capacity actions to support profit growth in the coming year, we are confident that we are now well placed to navigate the current industry challenges.”

Other highlights: 

·         8.2% increase in passenger revenue and 5.9% increase in passenger numbers

·         Two new bases established (Cardiff and Doncaster)

·         52 new routes launched

·         47 existing business routes benefitted from additional daily frequencies

·         New codeshares signed with Emirates and Virgin Atlantic

·         Improved punctuality with 85.4% of flights having arrived within 15 minutes of scheduled time vs. 84.5% in 2014/15 and recognised by OAG as among the top 20 airlines worldwide for punctuality in 2015

·         New SAS operation with four ATRs successfully launched in Stockholm.

·         Brussels Airlines contract extended by two years as of October 2015 with two Q400 aircraft

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