Flybe prof­its nose­dive on higher costs

● Car­rier says Scot­land re­mains ‘core part of our net­work’

The Scotsman - - Business - By HOLLY WILLIAMS AND SCOTT REID

had op­er­ated flights on Flybe’s be­half since 2008 un­til re­cently.

Flybe said yes­ter­day: “We are fur­ther strength­en­ing our con­nec­tiv­ity in Scot­land. The new Heathrow routes con­tinue to per­form in line or ahead of our ex­pec­ta­tions, and our tur­bo­prop air­craft are now an es­tab­lished part of Heathrow’s op­er­a­tions.

“In ad­di­tion, we re­cently em­barked on a com­mer­cial part­ner­ship with Eastern Air­ways, fran­chis­ing Eastern’s ex­ist­ing routes as Flybe.”

Flybe said trad­ing re­mained “en­cour­ag­ing” in the start of the sec­ond half so far, with 54 per cent of seats sold against 50 per cent a year ago. The group was sent swing­ing to a loss last year after slow­ing con­sumer de­mand and over­ca­pac­ity.

The firm posted a £19.9m pre-tax loss in the year to 31 March, com­pared with a profit of £2.7m the pre­vi­ous year.

Air­line an­a­lyst Ger­ald Khoo at Liberum said the lat­est set of in­terim re­sults showed an “en­cour­ag­ing” com­mer­cial per­for­mance. He noted: “As ca­pac­ity growth has slowed, load fac­tors and unit rev­enues have im­proved con­sid­er­ably. How­ever, a num­ber of cost head­winds im­pacted the bot­tom line, and while some will not re­cur, we be­lieve cau­tion is war­ranted.”

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