Posts Tagged ‘Flybe’


[Reuters] Struggling British airline Flybe will quit its main London hub at Gatwick airport and has pushed back the delivery of 16 new aircraft to help it return to profitability.

In April the carrier forecast an underlying loss for the year to the end of March. Photo

In April the carrier forecast an underlying loss for the year to the end of March. Photo: Wikipedia

Europe’s largest regional airline also said it had axed 590 jobs, or 22 percent of its UK workforce, despite saying in January it would cut only 300 jobs when it unveiled a cost-cutting plan designed to end a two-year run of losses at the pre-tax level.

Flybe floated its shares on the London Stock Exchange at the end of 2010 and has since suffered from high fuel costs, falling passenger numbers and higher airport charges, especially in London.

The company, which counts British Airways parent IAG and billionaire investor George Soros among its largest shareholders, said on Thursday the measures would save it GBP£30 million (USD$45 million) in costs in 2013/14, GBP£5 million ahead of its previous target, with more than half coming from the job cuts.

Flybe will exit Gatwick in March 2014, after agreeing a deal to sell its 25 take-off and landing slots at London’s second-largest airport to easyJet for GBP£20 million. “No business can swallow cost increases of more than 100 percent over five years and Flybe simply cannot bear such punitive rises,” Flybe chief executive and chairman Jim French said.

Flybe said it had also pushed back the delivery of 16 Embraer E175 aircraft to between 2017 and 2019, which would reduce pre-delivery payment charges due this year by 20 million pounds.

The aircraft were previously due to arrive in 2014 and 2015.

Since Flybe’s 295 pence-per-share float, its shares have fallen 80 percent, cutting the company’s market value to 43 million pounds from 215 million at launch.

“Flybe is exposed to the regional UK market which is not seeing the same growth as London is,” said analyst Alexia Dogani at brokerage Liberium. “London airports have become more expensive for small regional airlines to operate (from) … and therefore Flybe has not been able to attract as many passengers for its routes.”

It is not the only smaller airline to have suffered. Last year, loss-making Spanair and Hungarian flag-carrier Malev ceased operations, leaving gaps in the market that larger low-cost carriers like easyJet have been quick to exploit.

European carriers including Germany’s Lufthansa AG, Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM and Spain’s Iberia have also cut thousands of jobs over the last year and reined in capacity growth.

Flybe flies to Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Isle of Man from Gatwick. Selling its Gatwick slots would substantially reduce its London operations to just the few flights it runs out of Luton airport, some 50 kilometres north of the capital.

Read the full story at Reuters….

 


Reuters
23rd May, 2013


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[The Scotsman] LOSS-MAKING airline Flybe is to shed 300 – one in ten of its staff – as part of a “turnaround plan” announced today in an attempt to return to profit.

Flybe are to cut 300 jobs in a bid to return to profit.

Flybe are to cut 300 jobs in a bid to return to profit. Photo: Wikipeda

The carrier, which describes itself as Europe’s largest regional airline, said it hoped the £35 million cuts plan would return it to the black in 2013-14.

The job losses will include one in five management posts, to create a “leaner, more focused business.

Flybe said it did not “currently envisage any significant changes to the number of UK bases or its route network at this stage” but they would be reviewed.

The first part of the two-part plan could also involve some activities being subcontracted to other companies.

The moves come as Berwickshire-born chief executive Jim French prepares to move to become chairman.

Read the original story at The Scotsman…..

 


Reporting by: ALASTAIR DALTON
23rd Jan, 2013>



[Independent] Change comes as the Office of Fair Trading is considering legal action against travel firms that refuse to scrap debit-card charges.

The airline has abandoned its £9 flat fee for paying with debit cards

The airline has abandoned its £9 flat fee for paying with debit cards

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional carrier, says it has removed the charge as part of “A fair, open and transparent approach to sales and service policies”.

Until its removal today, the fee earned Flybe an average of £4.50 for each passenger flown. But the airline’s UK managing director, Andrew Strong, told The Independent: “I’m not looking to put up fares to offset the removal. People will choose us because we offer a better product.”

Passengers should therefore find fares slightly lower.

Flybe introduced baggage fees six years ago. Initially the charge stood at £2; today, the fee for a small 15kg bag on a short flight is six times as much.

The change comes as the Office of Fair Trading is considering legal action against travel firms that refuse to scrap debit-card charges. After a “super-complaint” by Which? about surcharges, the OFT said it might take traders to court: “If individual traders do not make changes we consider sufficient in a timely manner, we will consider enforcement action to ensure compliance”.

Europe’s two biggest low-cost airlines, easyJet and Ryanair, have no plans to drop their charges. Ryanair collects £6 per passenger, per flight, for debit and credit card payments; the fee can be avoided by paying with the airline’s own-brand Cash Passport pre-paid card.

The airline describes the charge as an…..

Read the rest of Simon Calder’s article at The Indepedent….


Simon Calder
Independent 26 April 2012



[Travel Weekly] Flybe has revamped its fares and product in an effort to counter “negative perceptions” about low-cost flights and “growing resentment” at unbundled fares.

The carrier announced the changes today under the slogan “Making flying better”.

The carrier announced the changes today under the slogan “Making flying better”.

The carrier announced the changes today under the slogan “Making flying better”. Flybe marketing director Simon Lilley said: “This is a major brand re-positioning.

“We’ve done a lot of research and found there is growing resentment and a lack of trust over the unbundled airline model. A minority want it, but an increasing majority want an upfront price sooner.”

Flybe will scrap debit card charges from the end of this week – it previously charged £8 per booking – and move to a £9 fee per booking on credit cards, down from £13. It will also move to three types of fare:

An ‘Essentials’ fare – the lowest the carrier offers, giving an assigned seat, no charge for check-in and 10kg allowance for hand luggage.

‘New Economy’ – allowing a free hold bag, seat assignment at the point of booking and unlimited changes of date to a booking for no fee, plus a booking confirmation by text. This will cost £19 more than the Essentials fare on a flight.

‘Plus’- aimed at the corporate market, giving all the above plus executive lounge access and added flexibility, with fares from £99.

Lilley said: “We aim to create the most transparent pricing in the industry.” He added: “We think the New Economy fares will become the norm.” The fares launch from the end of this week, when a new website will go live with the booking process cut from five stages to four.

Flybe will launch a national “Making flying better” advertising campaign this weekend, initially in national and regional print titles, and commence a first-ever TV campaign next week. The £9 million marketing campaign will be fronted by pilots and cabin crew and run through the rest of the year.

The carrier promises further innovations to come, including smartphone booking in May, and in-flight Wifi and TV programming in a summer trial.

In addition, the carrier is working with airports to…..

Read the remainder of this story at Travel Weekly…..


By Ian Taylor
Apr 26, 2012



A smoke warning lit up on a passenger plane as it flew over Cumbria, prompting actions that “significantly degraded” the aircraft’s “operational capability”, a report reveals today.

The warning light lit up as the aircraft flew south west of Carlisle in west Cumbria.

The warning light lit up as the aircraft flew south west of Carlisle in west Cumbria.

The pilots of the Edinburgh-bound Dash 8 aircraft, with 47 passengers on board, assumed it was valid and carried out checklist actions designed to tackle fire or smoke.

These caused the aircraft to begin to depressurise, the commander had to fly manually and the co-pilot’s flight displays were blank.

But the warning turned out to be false – and was probably caused by a short circuit.

The warning light had lit up as the aircraft flew over an unspecified location, about 25 miles south west of Carlisle in west Cumbria. The plane was operated by airline Flybe and was travelling to Scotland from Newquay Airport in Cornwall.

The alert happened mid-morning on July 21 last year, a report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said. The co-pilot had asked the senior cabin crew member to look for smoke and she reported back that she could not smell any smoke.

The captain told her that they “had to fight the fire” and that they would be making an emergency descent into Edinburgh, the report added.

The AAIB said that the captain had told the co-pilot that no smoke had been seen but they agreed that the situation would have to be treated “as real”.

When the plane landed safely at Edinburgh, passengers were evacuated.

The AAIB said: “The crew were presented with a smoke warning but there were no corroborating signs of smoke or fumes.

“The pilots were not prepared to proceed on the basis that the warning was spurious and assumed that it was valid.” The report went on: “Subsequently, the continuing absence of corroborating evidence did not alter this assumption.

“Having made their assumption the pilots carried out checklist actions designed to remove smoke from the aircraft.

Read the full story at the News & Star….


By Nick Griffiths
Thursday, 12 April 2012



He may be in line to become the King of England but Prince William has shown that he’s as normal as the rest of us, by flying home with a budget airline.

The Duke and Duchess spent a week enjoying the ski slopes before taking the easyJet flight from Geneva to Manchester last weekend

The Duke and Duchess spent a week enjoying the ski slopes before taking the easyJet flight from Geneva to Manchester last weekend Photo: WENN

Joined by wife Kate Middleton, who has been spotted doing her weekly shop by herself (oh the shock!), Wills enjoyed a week long break in the French Alps after spending six weeks working as an RAF helicopter rescue pilot in the Falkland Islands.

It is thought that the Duke and Duchess spent a week enjoying the ski slopes before taking the easyjet flight from Geneva to Manchester last weekend.

Having been allowed on the plane before the other passengers, it didn’t take long for the royal couple to cause a stir on the flight, with one passenger tweeting: “Still can’t believe how close I was to Will and Kate.”

It is believed that once the couple landed, they got into a Range Rover that took them to their home in North Wales,

However, it wasn’t the first time the couple have flown with a budget airline, as Kate and Wills travelled with another budget airline, Flybe when they flew up to Edinburgh to attend Zarah Phillip and Mike Tindall’s wedding last year…..

Source article from entertainmentwise.com


By Deepika Rajani
April 3, 2012



(UKPA)

More than 120 new air services will begin from UK airports over the next three months, it has been announced.

120 new UK Flights to start in the next 3 months

120 new UK Flights to start in the next 3 months

The new routes are spread across 27 separate UK airports, according to airline network organisation anna.aero. Manchester airport, with 16, has the most new routes, followed by Gatwick (15) and Heathrow (12).

Jet2, which starts a new base at Glasgow this summer, is the airline with the most new routes (24), followed by Ryanair (19) and easyJet (13). British Airways is starting eight new services, including Buenos Aires and San Diego from Heathrow and Malaga and Marrakech from Gatwick.

Flybe, bmibaby and bmi are all starting new routes while American carrier Delta is starting Heathrow services to Boston and Miami and Virgin Atlantic is flying a twice-weekly service from Manchester to Las Vegas.

A new airline to the UK is Swiss-based carrier SkyWork Airlines which is flying from London City Airport to Bern.

See the Press Association story here…..


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