Flybe reports improved summer sales

Flybe today reported an improved level of UK summer sales after fares were cut.

The regional carrier described forward sales as “positive’ with 20% of summer capacity sold at March 31, compared with 17% at 31 the same time last year

Some of the year-on-year improvement results from a later Easter this year.

Eight new routes launched in February from Birmingham, have “exceeded expectations” with 30% of summer 2014 seat capacity already sold.

Flybe is now offering 126 summer routes and 2,600 flights a week across the UK and Europe.

In a trading update, the airline, which raised £150 million last month to bolster its financial position, reported a 6% rise in UK passenger numbers to 1.6 million in the three months to March 31. The load factor increased  by 6 percentage points to 70% as capacity was cut by 4% in the quarter.

“This largely reflects the continued success of Flybe’s competitive pricing strategy to offer more attractive lead-in fares, with higher passenger volumes more than offsetting lower yields, leading to a 4% increase in passenger revenue per seat to £49.80,” the airline said.

Flybe remains on track to deliver the first and second phases of a turnaround plan with total savings of £47 million in 2013/14 and expected savings of £71 million in the current financial year.

“Constructive discussions continue with a range of business partners, including airports, airlines, suppliers and lessors,” the airline said.

“Management continue to review operating practices throughout the group, with the aim of driving improved performance across the simpler, leaner business structure.

“Flybe now has a strong balance sheet and an increasingly competitive cost structure on which to base its twin engine growth strategy of growing its UK regional branded airline business and expanding its provision of regional white label services to national flag carriers across Europe.”

The update came in the wake of a brand relaunch, punctuality guarantee and the planned launch of flights from Southend under a franchise deal with Stobart Air.

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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