Flybe has restructured into three divisions to support ongoing European expansion and growth in the UK.
Three new operating units – Flybe UK, Flybe Europe and Flybe Aviation Support – have been created as the carrier targets potential new acquisitions and joint ventures.
The re-organisation sees former chief operating officer Andrew Strong becomes managing director of Flybe UK covering the regional airline group’s UK domestic and UK-Europe airline business.
Former chief commercial officer Mike Rutter takes up the position of Flybe Europe managing director responsible for the company’s European airline businesses, including the recently announced joint acquisition of Finncomm Airlines in Finland, any future acquisitions and general organic development.
Airline operations director Johm Palmer becomes managing director of Flybe Aviation Support, a new division covering maintenance, repair and overhaul, and Flybe’s training academy.
Deputy chairman Mark Chown, a trustee of the Walker Trust, one of the group’s major shareholders, is to become a full-time executive corporate strategy director responsible for mergers and acquisitions. Chown, involved in the acquisition and integration of BA Connect, Flybe’s IPO last December and the Finncomm acquisition, is standing down as a Walker Trustee.
Chown is being replaced as deputy chairman by Charlie Scott, Flybe’s senior independent director since 2006, and formerly chairman of William Hill and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi.
Chown, Strong and Rutter will remain members of both the group and operating boards, while Palmer will join the operating board.
A mergers and acquisitions committee has been established to monitor and review all potential acquisitions chaired by non-executive director Alan Smith.
Chairman and chief executive Jim French said: “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.”
He added: “As the group continues to grow, both in the UK and in the continental European market, it is important for us to have in place a management structure which can support and drive that momentum.”
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