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Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener at Exeter Airport earlier this year

Flybe cuts loss as passenger stats rise

With a new chief executive in charge, the struggling regional carrier seems to be in turnaround mode.

Flybe has posted a reduced pre-tax loss for the 12 months to the end of March, to £9.4 million (€10.73 million) on the back of higher passenger numbers and revenue per seat, but continuing high costs and weather disruption hampered the result.

This was an improvement from the pre-tax loss of £48.5 million during the previous year.

In her first full year as chief executive, Christine Ourmières-Widener said Flybe had made “significant progress”, and with its “fleet size under control, we are already delivering improvements to passenger yield, load factors and revenue”.

But maintenance costs, an “onerous” IT contract and weather disruption in the airline’s fourth quarter, when the Beast from the East snow storm forced the airline to cancel 994 flights, kept losses high, the Financial Times reports.

Rising revenues
Despite this, passenger revenue per seat rose by just over 10% to £53.79, with total revenues rising 6.4% to £752.6 million, while passenger volumes were up 7.7% to 9.5 million.

“Our Sustainable Business Improvement Plan, launched last year, is enhancing the business in a number of key areas including network decision-making, revenue management and commercial performance,” the CEO said.

Flybe is focusing on using smaller planes on its regional network, with the aim of eventually having a fleet of 70 aircraft. It is removing nine larger Embraer E195s from its fleet. Ourmieres-Widener also highlighted the “success” of the airline’s Heathrow routes and its growing number of codeshare agreements.

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