Flybe returns to profit

Flybe’s financial results for the year ended 31 March 2016 (FY16), which represent the second full financial year of Flybe’s three-year transformation programme, saw the carrier achieve profitability after five years of losses.The group’s total revenue increased by 8.7% year-over-year from £574.1 million to £623.8 million, with an adjusted profit before tax of £5.5 million in comparison to a loss of £25.4 million for FY15’s results. These figures were achieved despite the effects of the terrorist events in Paris and Brussels.FY16 saw Flybe save 4.2% in cost per seat, which came in at £52.67, although passenger revenue per seat decreased by 1.4% year-over-year from £51.35 to £50.64.The airline benefited from a 5.9% increase in passenger numbers from 7.7 million to 8.2 million, although the load factor for FY16 did fall by 2.6 percentage points year-over-year to 72.6% in the wake of a 9.7% capacity increase.During FY16, Flybe resolved a number of outstanding fleet issues, including an exit without penalty from a binding $892 million obligation to buy new aircraft, and also divested its unprofitable joint venture in Finland. The carrier also redeployed its remaining Embraer 195s on regional routes in arrangements with regional airports.“This year was the second full year of our three-year transformation plan and our performance has been very encouraging,” stated Flybe’s CEO Saad Hammad. “We delivered top-line growth in a difficult revenue environment, expanding our network and carrying more passengers than last year. We drove our unit costs down further. We also resolved our last key legacy issue, with solutions delivered for our remaining E195s. As a result of all the action we have taken, Flybe is now a much more resilient business and well-positioned for profitable growth.“We are pleased with this performance and confident that we are well placed to navigate the current industry challenges with the strongest balance sheet in our history and a disciplined organisation which is already taking cost and capacity actions to support profit growth in the coming year,” Hammad added.

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