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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 12:54 GMT
Flybe announces rise in profits
Flybe plane: Picture Flybe
Flybe currently employs more than 3,000 staff
Flybe has announced a 20m increase in full-year profits.

The Exeter-based low-cost airline said it was a significant turnaround in its operational business.

Passenger numbers have risen from nearly two million to five million in the past five years, with routes increasing from 41 to 125.

Flybe operates services from Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Belfast City, Inverness, Norwich, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The company said it had also finished integrating BA Connect, the loss-making regional arm of British Airways, following a takeover deal completed in March this year.

We are in a hell of a position to go forward
Jim French, Flybe

Pre-tax profits increased by 20 from a 4.4m loss to 15.6m.

Chairman Jim French said the company was now a "much stronger business", with good cash reserves and a more balanced network.

"As the largest regional low-cost airline in Europe, cash in the bank and a new fleet, we are in a hell of a position to go forward," he said.

The company currently employs more than 3,000 staff and is expecting to boost passenger numbers to seven million in the next year.

Turnover is likely to be in excess of 500m, compared with 355m for the year to March 31.

The company made an overall loss of 19.9m, which it said reflected substantial restructuring costs in relation to BA Connect.



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