Flybe suffered a slump in half-year profits in the face of “challenging” market conditions.
The regional carrier, which jettisoned chief executive Saad Hammad last month, saw pre-tax profits fall by almost 16% to £7 million over the same period last year.
This came as revenue for the six months to September 30 rose by 12.8% to £383 million thanks to passenger carryings increasing by 7.1% to 4.8 million as capacity was hiked by 13.5%.
Current trading up to November 7 shows yield down by 5% and passenger revenue per seat down by 9%. Around 49% of seats have been sold against 52% a year earlier on a 16% rise in capacity.
Executive chairman Simon Laffin said: "We have completed the transformation, which started three years ago.
“Next year, for the first time since the IPO in 2010, we will have control over our aircraft capacity.
“We can begin to move from being a supply-driven business to a demand-driven business. This will free us for even greater focus on implementation excellence and refining route profitability.
“As passenger numbers are still rising across the industry, we see further revenue opportunities.
“The aviation market is tough at the moment, with excess seat capacity in the European short-haul market coupled with a weaker pound, and both business and consumer uncertainty impacting all airlines.
“However, Flybe has a robust balance sheet and cash position.
“From this strong position, over the next 12 months, we will open our first European base in Dusseldorf and continue to cautiously test routes to maximise the returns from our existing capacity.
“The board is confident of Flybe's resilience in this market. Our strategy is unchanged and we will further secure our place as the leading European regional airline."
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