Flybe – and Flybe Nordic – fly into profit

Chief executive hails it as “the rebirth of Flybe”

European regional airline Flybe has returned to profit. The UK-based carrier, which flies 180 routes and operates a subsidiary Flybe Nordic together with Finnair, posted £8.1 million (€10 million) profit before tax for the year 2013-14, following a heavy loss of £41.1 million in 2012-13.

The no-frills airline revealed a 6.9% increase in passenger numbers to 7.7 million, despite a 1.4% reduction in seat capacity. Group revenue rose by 1% to £620.5 million.

The company’s move to cut fares raised volumes without diluting revenue per seat or total passenger revenue, industry analysts said.

The positive results follow a turnaround plan at the airline, whose investors include billionaire financier George Soros. Chief executive Saad Hammad described it as “the rebirth of Flybe”.

“We implemented a turnaround plan to stabilise the business and then successfully raised over £150 million net to strengthen our balance sheet and drive sustainable profitable growth.”

He added: “The return to profitability is a great step forwards. This enables us to start implementing our twin-engine strategy of growing our UK-branded business and our white label operations across Europe.”

Reuters

[pictured: Flybe’s new purple livery; photo by Andrew Hendo]

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