Six months after promising a thorough overhaul of its business and having suffered the “most challenging” period in the 10 years since its re-branding from the former British European Airlines, UK regional Flybe reports a “re-energized commercial performance.” In the 12 months leading to March 31, the airline saw losses grow more than five-fold, to £40.7 million ($62 million), driven by increased fuel charges, passenger taxes–which accounted for around 18 percent of its UK-generated ticket revenue–and the costs of restructuring, including the elimination of 490 jobs.
Embraer and Flybe Aviation Services have signed a five-year contract that names the UK regional aircraft maintenance company an authorized service center for the ERJ 145 and E-Jet series. Flybe serves as an Embraer parts pool program customer, and now joins the company’s aviation services network.
In a move that drew groans from local politicians and airport authorities of small- and medium-sized cities across the British isles, British Airways has decided to cut 21 routes from its UK regional network and announced a complete withdrawal from its bases in Leeds- Bradford, in West Yorkshire, and Cardiff, Wales.
UK regional Flybe has completed acquisition of much of Manchester-based British Airways subsidiary BA Connect, receiving the business and some £130 million ($250 million) in exchange for granting British Airways a 15-percent stake in the enlarged operation. As it restructures the new grouping, Flybe will buy more Bombardier Q400 turboprops and Embraer E195s, said the Exeter-based low-fare regional.
Exeter, UK-based Flybe has agreed to buy most of British Airways’ BA Connect subsidiary. In return, BA will take a 15-percent stake in Flybe, which plans to retire all the BA Connect airplanes now in the British Airways stable and replace them with Bombardier Q400s and Embraer E195s. British Airways CEO Willie Walsh told reporters he expected to conclude the deal by year-end.
Flybe, the UK-based low-cost carrier that took delivery of its first Embraer E195 last month, plans to go public next year with the goal of raising between $141 million and $189 million. A spokesman at Dresdner Kleinwort, part of investment institution Dresdner Bank AG of London and Frankfurt, said the financial advisor will place the value of Flybe at between $283 million and $379 million.
Embraer celebrated delivery of its first E195 jetliner last month in an event at the company’s São José dos Campos headquarters that completed the Brazilian company’s line of E-Jets already in service–the E170, E175 and E190.