Budget airline Flybe has returned to profit after a year which has seen the operator carry out a major restructure process.
The firm, which last year withdrew routes from Cardiff Airport to Paris and Glasgow as part of its reorganisation, made a profit of £8.1m before tax for the year to the end of March 31 compared to a loss before tax of £41.1m.
Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad said: “2013/14 marks the rebirth of Flybe.
“We implemented a turnaround plan to stabilise the business and then successfully raised over £150m net to strengthen our balance sheet and drive sustainable profitable growth.
“The return to profitability is a great step forwards. This enables us to start implementing our twin-engine strategy of growing our UK branded business and our white label operations across Europe.
“We have made a good start to FY15, in line with our expectations.
“We are moving to build on our early success. We have a plan and we have the firepower.
“The group is now well-placed to become Europe’s best local airline.”
Flybe’s cost reduction programme has seen more than 1,000 job losses with redundancies already costing the business £15.1m since the announcement of the restructure.
The group’s chairman Simon Laffin confirmed there will be, as Flybe has already announced, further job losses this summer as seasonal routes are discontinued and further aircraft are grounded.
He said: “Fortunately, through impressive teamwork with both staff and unions, the number of compulsory redundancies has been small.
“We are, however, sad to have had to lose good and loyal people from our workforce. Flybe has no option but to remain competitive on cost. Total headcount has now reduced by 30% over the financial year.
“The turnaround has put a great deal of strain on many employees who have put extraordinary levels of work and commitment into restoring Flybe to financial and commercial health.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to pay tribute to each and every employee who has contributed to this; be they cabin crew, maintenance staff, manager, pilot or administrator.”