9 APRIL 2018
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Flybe struggles while BA holds up Iberia.
British regional airline Flybe Group Plc gave a financial update last week saying flight cancellations due to poor weather in February and March were expected to impact on the full-year results, but noting early indications of summer trading were encouraging. No mention of the aborted Stobart take-over. The London Stock Exchange was not impressed, with the shares steady at 34p, near the record low of 30p.
Load factors improved as capacity reduced. In Q4, these were up by 6.8% to 73.5%. As a result, estimated passenger revenue per seat was up by 9% to £50.84. Passenger numbers rose by 3.7%, even though capacity was reduced by 6%.
As of 31 March, Flybe has returned five of the planned six end-of-lease aircraft with the final one to be returned during April. This leaves a current total of 80 aircraft, three fewer than last year. Flybe has also introduced a four-times-a-week Southend to Antwerp service in direct competition with VLM’s London City route, a 74-seat ATR72 v 50-seat Fokker 50.
Also on the financial front, figures now released by IAG show how absolutely dependent the group is on British Airways with an operating profit last year of £1,754m (€2,010m), Iberia €376m, Aer Lingus €269m, and Vueling €188m.
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