Flybe Group restructures board and divisions

Flybe Group says it is strengthening its board and divisional operating structure, to support the Group’s ongoing delivery of its strategy of European expansion and continuing growth in its UK market.

These changes, the Group says, are designed to ensure focus, responsibility and accountability for the sound operation and profitable growth of each business division, thereby collectively enhancing the overall profitability of Flybe Group.

Within the board, Mark Chown, currently deputy chairman of Flybe and a Trustee of the Walker Trust, one of the Group’s major shareholders, will become a full-time executive director of corporate strategy at Flybe, and will stand down as a Walker Trustee. His corporate strategy role will include responsibility for identifying, evaluating and delivering merger and acquisition opportunities.

Owing to his new role, Chown will be replaced as deputy chairman by Charlie Scott, Flybe’s Senior Independent Director since 2006.

The Group’s operating structure is to be organised into three separate operating divisions with immediate effect. This structure is designed to provide the focus required to optimise the wide range of growth opportunities which Flybe has identified in a range of geographies across Europe and will also support continuing growth in Flybe’s UK and Aviation Support markets.

The Group’s operating structure will be organised as follows:
• Flybe UK – comprising the UK domestic and UK–Europe airline business. Andrew Strong, currently the Group’s chief operating officer, will become managing director of this division.

• Flybe Europe – comprising the European airline businesses, including Finncomm and any future acquisitions, as well as organic development. Mike Rutter, currently chief commercial officer of Flybe, will head up this division as managing director.

• Flybe Aviation Support – comprising the MRO and training businesses supporting Flybe’s airline divisions and serving third party customers. John Palmer, who joined Flybe in 2006 from Virgin Atlantic and is currently director of airline operations, will become managing director of Flybe Aviation Support.

Mark Chown, Andrew Strong and Mike Rutter will remain members of both the Group and Operating Boards, while John Palmer will join the Operating Board.

Jim French, chairman and CEO of Flybe Group, commented, "Flybe has identified a range of exciting opportunities for growth across a number of markets in Europe, organically, by joint venture and by acquisition. At the same time we are continuing to grow market share in our UK market and aviation support business. In light of this the Group has recognised that it requires an operational structure which will provide the requisite focus and strength to make the most of these growth opportunities. The introduction of the divisional structure will enable us to do that, and is a significant development for the Group. We now have the team and the structure in place to continue the Group’s growth strategy, both organically and by acquisition, and we look forward to the future with great confidence."

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