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Flybe forecast to plunge into the red

Flybe boss Jim French continues to face challenging market conditions

Flybe boss Jim French continues to face challenging market conditions

  • by GRAEME EVANS
 

FLYBE, the regional airline run by Scots-born boss Jim French, has seen no let-up in the “challenging” conditions that have grounded its shares in recent months.

The carrier is forecast to make a loss in the year to the end of March, although in a trading update yesterday it said the final

quarter of the period had been in line with its hopes.

This helped shares edge up 2 per cent, but the stock is still well below levels seen prior to a profits warning in early January caused by weaker demand for flights in the UK.

Flybe, which flies from airports including Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster and East Midlands, said market conditions remained challenging but that it was helped by its “robust and flexible” business model.

It is working on plans to increase revenues per seat, delivering cost reductions and ways to better match capacity to demand. Details will be announced with full-year results in June.

Airline analyst Andrew Fitchie, of Investec Securities, recently said he expects Flybe to make a loss of £8.5 million in the year to 31 March, against pre-Christmas predictions of a profit of £6.4m.

The Exeter-based group said it remained the biggest player in the UK regional and domestic markets.

 

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