Flybe Swings To Full Year Loss
UK-based regional carrier Flybe dropped into the red for its financial year to end March with a GBP£26.7 million (USD$34 million) net loss.
The loss compares to the previous financial year where it squeezed out a £6.8 million net profit. Pre-tax, the loss was £6.7 million against a £5.5 million profit the previous year.
Group revenue was £707.4 million, a 13.4 percent increase, with Flybe UK’s revenue coming in at £675.6 million. Costs for Flybe UK were £681.4 million, up from 2016’s £594.7 million.
Flybe carried 8.8 million passengers during the period, up 7.6 percent, but seat capacity increased by 12.3 percent to 12.7 million, as it added new routes and increased frequency on existing ones. The resulting seat load factor dropped 3.0 percentage points to 69.6 percent as a result.
Passenger yield was flat at £70.20, but cost per seat increased by 2 percent to £53.74. On a constant currency basis, however, cost per seat dropped by 5.2 percent.
Flybe has suffered from over-ordering of aircraft during a previous expansion spree, but as chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener said “Despite the substantial progress in reducing the size of legacy fleet orders in 2015/16, Flybe has still seen significant capacity growth in a market where we witnessed slower growth in consumer demand.”
She said the fleet had reached its peak size of 85 in May 2017 and the airline would start reducing it by returning six end-of-lease Bombardier Q400 aircraft during the current financial year.