Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 12:53 UK

Flybe profits despite fuel costs

A flybe plane
The regional UK airline, Flybe flew seven million passengers last year.

The regional UK airline Flybe has defied the steep rise in the cost of aviation fuel and posted a 14% rise in profits for the first quarter.

Its figures show that the carrier made over £12m in profits in the three months to the end of June this year.

The airline, which flew seven million passengers last year, said that its investment in new fuel-efficient aircraft had reduced its costs.

It also relied less on the leisure market and more on business travel.

The airline also released annual results for the year to the end of March.

These showed that in the year to March, it made a £35m pre-tax profit, after successfully integrating BA Connect, the loss-making regional arm of British Airways bought by the company in March last year.

Flybe operates more than 190 routes across Europe, flying from regional airports including Norwich, Southampton and Belfast.

Franchise deal

In Scotland it has struck a franchise deal with Loganair, which will make it the nation's second largest airline.

Speaking on BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, the airline's Chairman, Jim French said, "Fuel has been a big impact on the industry. We've invested over $2bn (£1.1bn) in brand new aircraft and reduced our consumption per mile flown by almost 30%."

He added that Flybe had the most environmentally friendly planes that you can get.

The company is privately owned, mainly by Rosedale Aviation Holdings, but its staff also own a share through an employee share scheme, as do British Airways as a consequence of Flybe’s acquisition of BA Connect.

Flybe announces rise in profits
12 Nov 07 |  England

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