Flybe puts itself up for sale amid tough conditions

Flybe has recently warned over profits following easing demand and a £29m hit from rising fuel costs and the weak pound

Flybe has recently warned over profits following easing demand and a £29m hit from rising fuel costs and the weak pound

The Devon-based airline has announced it has been put up for sale, while passengers have been told that travel will continual as normal.

Flybe, whose roots date back to 1979, has 78 planes operating from smaller airports such as London City, Southampton and Norwich to destinations in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The board has appointed Evercore as its financial adviser to assist it with this review.

British infrastructure and support services company Stobart Group scrapped plans to buy Flybe in March after being rebuffed.

Higher fuel prices and sterling's weaker value, combined with falling customer demand, have hit the airline, while it is committed to leasing Embraer jets between July and December next year, at a total cost of $114m (£88m).

The announcement came as the airline announced its profits for the six months from April to September had halved to £7.4m, compared with the same spell in 2017.

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Half-year revenue fell to £409.2m from £419.2m.

"There are more of them and we see this as simply the latest domino to fall in the European short-haul airline sector".

However, the group's capacity had been reduced by 9% while net debt increased to £82.1mln from £59.1mln at the end of a year ago, which the company blamed on "the seasonality of cash and adverse sterling movements".

Dominic O'Connell, a presenter on BBC Radio 4 Today, said on Wednesday that the fate of Flybe "is in reality the culmination of a series of management missteps over the last decade as the company struggled to find a profitable niche". "This is already starting to have a positive impact, as shown by the improved first half adjusted profit before tax; however, we must do more in the coming months", according to Ourmières-Widener.

The Group is undertaking a comprehensive review of various strategic options, including further capacity and cost saving measures, initiatives to strengthen the balance sheet and preserve cash resources, as well as a potential sale of the Company.

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