Flybe to curb costs as declining traffic sends it into the red

Marion Dakers
FALLING domestic traffic and rising costs have sent regional airline Flybe to a half-year loss, the firm announced yesterday.

Group revenues were broadly flat at £340.6m but cost pressures have sent it to a pre-tax loss of £1.3m for the first half of the year, compared to a profit of £14.8m a year ago.

“The continuing challenges of the UK domestic aviation market further validate the importance of our decision to focus Flybe’s long-term strategy on rebalancing our route network by growing our European operations,” said the airline’s chairman and chief executive Jim French.

“The UK domestic aviation market continues to show little sign of recovery, with the market trending a year-on-year decline. Since this represents around 75 per cent of Flybe UK’s passenger base, this decline continues to pose challenges on our UK business.”

The firm said it aims to save £2 per seat through cost cuts in an attempt to return to profitability. Shares fell 6.3 per cent to 52p yesterday.