Flybe boss confident about airline’s future despite turbulent trading conditions

AIRLINE Flybe posted flat revenues in the UK today as it highlighted the tricky conditions that caused its shares to hit turbulence last month.

Europe’s biggest regional airline, which flies from airports including Norwich Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh and East Midlands, said UK sales were down 0.3% on a year ago to �133.7million in the final quarter of 2011.

The figure confirms last month’s warning that revenues would be significantly lower than it hoped, fuelling fears in the City for a full-year loss.

It has reduced capacity by 6% on January a year ago and said today it has seen passenger revenues per seat improve by 3% as a result.

Chairman and chief executive Jim French said: “Although we expect market conditions to remain challenging, we have a robust and flexible business model and clear and achievable growth plans. We remain confident about Flybe’s long term future.”

On Thursday Norwich International Airport chief executive Andrew Bell revealed demand for flights for summer holidays had outstripped expectations, and booking for the recently launched Loganair/Flybe routes to Exeter, Isle of Man, Newquay, and Southampton were also performing ahead of expectations.