Showing posts with label FlyBe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FlyBe. Show all posts

15 January, 2019

Virgin lead consortium ups price for Flybe.....

It's been just days since Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus came together to put in an official deal for the troubled regional airline, Flybe, which could lead to the birth of the Virgin Atlantic brand flying small regional thin routes in the UK.

Many in the industry see the dilution of the so-called sacred Virgin Atlantic brand in this way would almost certainly prove to be disastrous in the long run for Virgin Atlantic. Although some have a more positive appreciation of the Virgin Atlantic brand on domestic and European travel.

FlyBe's share price tumbled down on news of the offer of £2.2 million from the Virgin lead consortium, called 'Connect Airways'  - nothing to do with the Swiss Connect Air that ran between 2004 and 2008 or the Connectair, the feeder airline for British Caledonian in the 80's which went on to become Air Europe Express.

Interesting to note, that one of the few people buying FlyBe shares is one William Andrew Tinkler, the former boss of Stobart, who just happens to be involved in a rather acrimonious legal dispute with the company. Apparently, Tinkler and two other leading business people were looking at taking over Flybe or merging it with Stobart Air many many months ago!

Earlier today, Tuesday 15th January, the bid for FlyBe had to be increased to £2.8 million and a bridging loan mentioned in the original announcement was declined, although Flybe didn't say exactly why. However, a revised Bridge Facility of up to £20 million from Virgin and Stobart, to provide funding to Flybe Limited, of which £10 million will be released today to support the business. In addition, a number of improved agreements with banks have also been reached today to improve liquidity was agreed.

08 January, 2019

Newcastle - London City with Eastern Airlines

Commuters and travellers from England's north-east can now reach the heart of London and its transport connections with ease, following the official launch of a double-daily direct air service between London City Airport from Newcastle with Eastern Airways.

Eastern Airways, a franchise partner of Flybe, now operates a morning and evening peak service taking just 70-minutes flight time each-way direct into London City Airport.  This gives Newcastle Airport a second and faster, more convenient London travel option for those heading to the City or Central London.

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which is adjacent to London City Airport, provides convenient public transport links, with trains leaving every 8-15 minutes to Canning Town (7 minutes journey time) and Bank (21 minutes journey time) for connections onto the wider London Underground.

With business-focused morning and evening departures at 8:05am and 5.50pm, returning at 9:45am and 7.30pm on weekdays, and a single Sunday evening service, the time saving compared to rail or road will meet the needs of many north-east commuters.

05 December, 2018

Is the Flybe future about to unfold?

The future of the troubled UK regional carrier Flybe could be decided in the not too distant future, we've been told by a staff member that an announcement on a deal is imminent. Yet, exactly who is coming to the rescue of the financially ailing airline?

Virgin Atlantic confirmed on Friday, November 23rd, that it was in talks with Flybe, “Virgin Atlantic notes the recent media speculation related to Flybe. Virgin Atlantic has a trading and codeshare relationship and confirms that it is reviewing its options in respect of Flybe, which range from enhanced commercial arrangements to a possible offer for Flybe. Virgin Atlantic emphasises that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer.” was the statement at the time and nothing much has changed, indeed when approached yesterday the Virgin press office told us "Our position on Flybe remains the same."

As time moves on, industry advisers in Crawley inform us that it's less and less likely that Virgin will take over the company as a whole. Although Virgin has had experience of running domestic routes in the UK, it's own Little Red ran from April 2013 to September 2015, yet with loads of little over 37% it wasn't what you might call an unqualified success. It is therefore perhaps unlikely that Virgin, majority owned by US carrier Delta, would be interested in taking over Flybe. The only thing that might warrant a bid is the highly valuable and highly prized London Heathrow landing and take off slots that Flybe has!

Stobart Air is another airline that we've been told have held, at least, preliminary talks with Flybe over a possible merger. Stobart Air is one of Europe’s leading franchise, ACMI and charter aviation specialists, every week it operates some 940 flights over more than 43 routes in 11 European countries with partners Aer Lingus and Flybe. However, the signs that Stobart is to be the saviour of Flybe dimmed dramatically when a spokesperson at Stobart Air told us, “It is business as usual for Stobart Air. The airline currently operates nine routes from London Southend Airport under our Flybe franchise agreement. This will reduce to five for the summer 2019 schedule including the new London Southend Airport- Newquay Cornwall route.”

Another airline said by some in the industry to be in the running for a complete buyout of Flybe is the Humberside (HUY) based Eastern Airways, that flies a mixed fleet including 2 ATR72-600s, 8 BAe Jetstream 41s, some Embraer jets and Saab 2000 turboprops on many regional UK routes. Its operation and route network would greatly compliment that of Flybe and together they would truly have the biggest domestic UK route network. Eastern Airways remains tightlipped over possible talks, not responding to our requests for comment. However, it is understood that parent company, the Bristow Group has made funds available for a potential purchase. 

Aviation media speculation indicated that Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air had been in negotiations with Flybe over a rescue package funnelled through its UK subsidiary. Wizz Air UK currently operates 8 UK registered aircraft from its London Luton Airport (LTN) base. Whilst Wizz is keen to take a larger slice of the UK aviation market, Flybe's route structure and mixed aircraft fleet is at odds with the larger single type operation Wizz Air currently deploys. When I broached the possibility of Wizz Air whizzing in for a stealthy deal with a contact based in Jersey, my ears were filled with a guffaw of unnatural length. 

When asked for a comment on the current state of negotiations and the speculation that a deal was imminent, a rather terse "Flybe doesn’t comment on these matters." was all we were given, which doesn't clarify the muddy waters. The firm has however been rather busy scrubbing around for various sources of financing in the last two weeks which has included getting another loan or mortgage on one of its Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft - G-JEDW that netted £5 million ($6.35million). The sale of a hanger at Exeter Airport (EXT), which Flybe will now lease back raised a further £5 million of much-needed funds. The company is also in dispute with Monarch Aircraft Engineering for maintenance contracts at Birmingham and Manchester, which may save the carrier some cash, although it will have to do all the maintenance itself, which might negate any cost savings.  

There is also speculation among some in the industry, that no buyer will be found in time to rescue the carrier as a going concern, leaving it no option other than to call in the administrators. Then, we're told, the interested parties will strike, pick the bones of Flybe at bargain rock bottom prices. I feel however, Flybe is a much more valuable asset up and running as it is currently, but for how long that will last, is not at all certain.  

16 November, 2018

The north east of England will gain a new double-daily direct air service to London City Airport from Newcastle with Flybe franchise partner Eastern Airways

FlyBe franchise partner and potential buyer, Eastern Airways, recently announced it would be adding a morning and evening peak service between London City Airport and Newcastle Airport. 

The new direct flight takes 70 minutes each-way and saves passengers a vast amount of time when commuting between the two cities.  With business-focused morning and evening departures at 8:05am and at 5.50pm, returning at 9:45am and 7.30pm on weekdays, the flights have been designed to appeal to and be convenient for business travellers. The timings also make it easy for day trippers to do some shopping in the capital city and be back home in time for supper. 

Roger Hage, Eastern Airways’ General Manager Commercial & Operations, said: “We have collaborated with the key stakeholders at both Newcastle and London City airports to launch this new direct central London air service on behalf of Flybe, adding to their expanding London City network and to the Aberdeen – London City service we already operate. This is part of our strategic business alignment to serving core regional business hubs and supports our belief of it being vital that major UK cities have direct fast convenient air-links between the regions and city of London, especially given the current London Heathrow capacity restrictions.”

14 November, 2018

Stobart Air poised to take over FlyBe?

Stobart Air is poised to buy out the troubled British regional airline Flybe, according to Sky News, it is being reported this week. 

The broadcaster reported that Bankers at Evercore have been brought in to handle talks about a potential deal, which could see the two firms merged or the FlyBe Group taken over completely by Stobart, who also own Southend Airport.

Flybe has been struggling for some time and recently issued a profits warning, it is expected to lose £12m this year alone, citing Brexit uncertainty, higher fuel prices and the falling value of the British pound as the main causes of its financial hardship.

Another airline said to be interested in taking over the Exeter based FlyBe, is the regional airline Eastern Airways, owned by the Bristow Group. Eastern Airways operates a mixed fleet of British Aerospace Jetstreams, Saab 2000s, ATR72, Embraer E135, E145 and E170 jets on routes within the UK and to Europe.  

Neither FlyBe, Stobart or Eastern have made a public statement about the news reports at this stage, however an announcement is expected imminently. 

20 October, 2018

New route for FlyBe between Newquay and London Southend

It has been confirmed that a new service between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London Southend will start on 1st April next year.  The service will be under the FlyBe brand but operated by Stobart Air aircraft and crews and will start as a 5 days a week service before increasing to daily in May.  

The new service will be operated with an ATR72 aircraft with capacity for up to 72 passengers and the new link will increase the number of weekly seats being flown between Cornwall Airport Newquay and London next summer by 11.5%.

Commenting on the announcement, Al Titterington, Managing Director, Cornwall Airport Newquay said: “It is great to see that further capacity will be added to the capital for 2019 thanks to Stobart Air’s decision to open direct flights to London Southend.” Informing more on the current market between CAN and the UK capital, Titterington states: “During the first eight months of 2018 over 119,000 passengers have flown between CAN and Gatwick, a 12.8% increase over the same period of 2017. With the market between Cornwall and London continuing to go from strength-to-strength this new service comes at the perfect time.”

17 October, 2018

Flybe expects big losses this year, the share price dives and analysts fear for its future.

The UK's regional airline Flybe issued a profits warning on Wednesday, October 17th blaming a weaker British pound, higher fuel prices and a drop in demand for the fall in revenues.

Shares in the company slumped even further after the news broke, prompting many in the industry to question the airlines' long-term survival. By the close of business on Wednesday, the share price had dropped by 41% and could drop even further.

Whilst the airline has seen good revenue performance during the first part of the year,  it faces even more difficulties during the second half. Increasingly high fuel prices are just part of the story, the airline also cites unfavourable currency rates as having an impact on the company's bottom line, increased carbon costs are another issue.

Flybe has in recent times cut routes and capacity to focus on the more popular routes in wide UK network, which seemed to be working as the airline saw load factors were up to just over 86%. The airline had also started to get rid of some of its Embraer jets, which had high leasing contracts and were not as economically suited to the short, regional routes that FlyBe mostly operate. 

04 September, 2018

the UK's FlyBe opts for a new livery

A new paint job for Flybe.

The UK's regional airline, FlyBe has unveiled a new livery for its fleet of Q400's and Embraer which features more white than the previous livery, whilst still featuring the classic purple the airline has become known for.

The new paint job was released over the last 24 hours via social media posts and reaction has been fairly mixed. Jeremy Brookman tweeted "Honestly I much prefered the last purple livery! It made you stand out!"  whilst AndyMcLaughlin wrote "The current purple is much more interesting... this is a little dull towards the front! Keep the old purple please!"  Pip in Doha thought it was "Very Smart" and Sian Thorne posted "Love the new look."

We're equally divided in the Air101 office,  Josh loves it, Adam doesn't and Jason isn't sure but thinks the flybe brand identity on the forward part of the aircraft is rather lost.   What do you think?

15 June, 2018

Co-pilot seizure endangered aircraft

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority's Air Accidents Investigation Branch praised the pilot of a FlyBe Bombardier Q400 for his professionalism in coping with an incapacitated co-pilot on a flight from Inverness to Jersey last year.

In the AAIB report issued this week, into the incident of 5th August 2017 told how the co-pilot has suffered a seizure while the aircraft was flying at 25,000 feet with 43 passengers in the back of the Bombardier turboprop Q400. 

The co-pilots sudden and violent seizure had caused the autopilot to be disengaged and the co-pilots sudden movements affected the aircraft, a cabin crew member was knocked off her feet and helped up by a passenger on the flight.

24 May, 2018

FlyBe to ditch E195's as it struggles to cut costs and focuses on profitable routes with the Q400

One of Europe's largest regional airlines, the UK based FlyBe, has been doing a lot of thinking recently regarding its fleet and has come to the conclusion that the Bombardier Q400 is the best core aircraft for both its current and future needs. 

The airline said it chose the Q400 because it is faster than any other alternative turboprops and its performance is close to that of a jet aircraft over the relatively short sectors that Flybe operates. The carrier also rates the aircraft highly for the operating economics, fuel efficiency and lack of noise.

Part of the fleet reevaluation at FlyBe will see the carrier hand back all of its Embraer 195 jets, of which the airline has nine currently. although it will retrain the 175 aircraft and continue with its outstanding order for four of that type which are due in 2019.  These new aircraft will be delivered with new ‘winglet technology’ to help reduce fuel consumption. Apart from these, Flybe is not going to be ordering any new aircraft for the foreseeable future. It had tried to cancel the four remaining E175 aircraft but was already financially committed to them. 

10 November, 2017

FlyBe Emergency Landing in Belfast

A FlyBe Bombardier Q-400 made a dramatic emergency landing today at Belfast International Airport at 1.2-0pm this afternoon following a nose gear problem.

07 June, 2017

Flybe's Troubled Year

The airline Flybe has revealed they've accumulated £20m in losses after embarking on ambitious expansion plans.

The regional airline said it would start to reduce the size of its fleet after it saw slowing growth in consumer demand.

However, it insisted the current year was going well and efforts to turn a profit again were well underway.

05 March, 2015

Flybe's Massive Expansion at Cardiff

Flybe's new routes from Cardiff Airport

British Low Cost Airline Flybe has confirmed media reports of a major route expansion programme from Cardiff airport.
This announcement follows press speculation and a report by WalesOnline yesterday that the airline was going to open up 11 new routes.
Starting this summer the finically troubled airline will launch flights to Dublin, Milan, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cork, Geneva, Jersey, Faro, Paris and Munich.

26 January, 2015

FlyBe Share Price Tumble

Tough times ahead for Britain's budget airline Flybe as shares tumbled today after it revealed lower passenger numbers in the third quarter of last year and would break even before tax in its financial year ending in March 2015.  
The ailing airline posted its first pretax profit in four years in the year ending March 2014, made possible by heavy cost cutting measures - including relinquishing airport slots, cutting jobs, axing unprofitable flight routes and a grounding of a number of aircraft in its fleet.
The full-year forecast announced today, Monday, follows a drop of 3.8% drop in passenger revenue in the final three months of 2014 to £126.8 million pounds, citing commercial pressure. "We believe that this competitive pressure will extend the period of time that these routes take to reach maturity and deliver the full contribution we expect," Flybe said in a statement.

17 May, 2011

Flybe New Route Inverness and Amsterdam


Regional carrier Flybe has announced plans to start six weekly flights between Inverness and Amsterdam, a route not currently served by any other airline.   The new route, due to launch on September 5, will allow travellers from the north of Scotland to connect with international flights from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s largest hubs.   Flights will be operated, using a 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, every day of the week except Saturday.

06 May, 2011

Flybe shares dive as airline issues profits warning - Telegraph


a BAe 146 from the airline Flybe

Flybe blamed the failure to hit its forecast on a recent slowdown in consumer spending on air travel and high oil prices Photo: PA


Shares in Britain's biggest domestic airline dropped 57½ to 172½p on Thursday after it said it now expected full-year profits for the 12 months to March of £22m, some £2m short of analyst expectations.