Airline Flybe puts itself up for sale after profit warning

Daniel Fowler
November 16, 2018

The airline said it was part of a comprehensive review of its options "to address the current challenges facing the airline industry".

The Devon-based airline has announced it has been put up for sale, while passengers have been told that travel will continual as normal.

The airline told investors that "it is in discussions with a number of strategic operators about a potential sale of the company".

Flybe planes at Norwich Airport.

The airline had previously planned to merge with FTSE 250 transport services provider Stobart Group (LON:STOB), before the deal was abandoned earlier this year.

It comes as the Exeter-headquartered company, which has appointed Evercore to manage the process, reported a rise in profit for the six months to 30 September 2018.

But in the six months to the end of September, Flybe's pre-tax profits fell 54 per cent to £7.4m, compared with the same period previous year.

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"In line with our strategy, we reduced seat capacity in the first half by 9.0% delivering a 7.2% increase in revenue per seat".

Shares in Flybe, which have dropped more than 60 per cent over the past year, rose 11 per cent...

Last month, the airline warned full-year losses would reach £22m due to a combination of falling consumer demand, a weaker pound and higher fuel costs.

Christine Ourmières-Widener, chief executive of Flybe, said: "Continued improvements are being seen into quarter three which demonstrates the popularity of Flybe for our customers".

Th company blamed the weaker results on external factors, citing the weaker value of sterling and higher fuel prices had driven up the cost per seat, which together with a softening of market growth, had affected profitability within the European short-haul aviation market.

"We also expect to be consulted by Flybe and potential bidders over any future plans they have for the airline and its employees".

"We are responding to this by reviewing every aspect of our business".

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