|Founded||1979 (as Jersey European Airways)|
|Focus cities||Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport|
|Airport lounge||Flybe Executive Lounge|
|Company slogan||Making Flying Better|
|Parent company||Rosedale (J.W.) Investments Limited|
|Headquarters||Jack Walker House
Exeter International Airport
Devon, United Kingdom
|Revenue||£614.3 million (12 months to 31 March 2013)|
|Operating income||-£23.2 million (12 months to 31 March 2013)|
|Net income||-£41.8 million (12 months to 31 March 2013)|
Flybe Group PLC (styled as flybe, pronounced //) is a British low-cost regional airline group based in Exeter, Devon, England. It operates over 180 routes to 65 European airports and is Europe's largest regional airline, carrying over 7 million passengers during 2013. The Flybe Group is a public company and employs around 2,600 people.
Launched in 1979 under the name Jersey European Airways, the airline was later renamed British European (BE), and then Flybe. It took over BA Connect in 2007 to create Flybe Group.
In the UK, Flybe's largest base is Southampton Airport and it has other large bases at Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester airports, with a total of 14 crew and aircraft bases across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Cabin and onboard service
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Flybe started operations on 1 November 1979 as Jersey European Airways as a result of a merger of Jersey-based Intra Airways and Bournemouth-based Express Air Services, and was founded by John Habin, a resident of Jersey and the majority investor. After selling Aviation Beauport and other business interests, Habin established some key routes from Jersey to the UK, before selling the airline in November 1983 to Jack Walker's Walker Steel Group, which already owned Blackpool-based charter airline Spacegrand Aviation. The two airlines were then run separately, with partially shared management, until 1985 when they amalgamated under the Jersey European name, with the airline's headquarters moving to Exeter.
On 3 November 2006 it was announced that Flybe would buy BA Connect, except for that airline's services out of London City Airport. The takeover was complete in March 2007. The expanded airline's owners were Rosedale Aviation Holdings (69%), Flybe staff (16%) and – as a result of the BA Connect takeover – International Airlines Group (15%). The acquisition increased Flybe's route network in both the UK and continental Europe, making Flybe Europe's largest regional airline.
On 14 January 2008 it was announced that Flybe had signed a franchise agreement with Scottish airline Loganair, to commence on 26 October 2008 following the termination of Loganair's franchise agreement with British Airways on 25 October 2008. The agreement would see Loganair aircraft flying in Flybe colours on 55 routes from Scotland.
On 10 December 2010, Flybe floated on the London Stock Exchange, with trading in shares commencing on the same day. Full public release of shares followed on 15 December 2010. The share price was set at 295p, valuing the company at approximately £215 million, and raising £66 million for the company, half of which was to pay for fleet expansion.
Ownership and structure
Flybe is a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: FLYB). Until November 2013, the main shareholder, with 48.1% of the shares, was Rosedale Aviation Holdings Limited, the corporate representative of the trustee of the Jack Walker 1987 Settlement, which was established by the late Jack Walker, who was involved in Flybe’s early development.
The Flybe Group includes Flybe Aviation Services (engineering and maintenance), Flybe Training Academy (engineering and flight crew training), Flybe UK (airline operations) and Flybe Europe, the holding company for all European operations, which currently consists of Flybe Nordic.
The trends for Flybe Group over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 March):
|Group turnover (total, less JV) (£m)||367.5||535.9||572.4||570.5||595.5||615.3||614.3|
|Profit/Loss (earnings before tax & adjustments) (£m)||−16.2||30.4||0.1||5.7||7.6||−7.1||−23.2|
|Profit/Loss after tax (£m)||−19.9||34.9||4.1||6.7||3.8||−6.4||−41.8|
|Number of employees (average)||1,931||3,197||2,860||2,798||2,949||2,781||2,667|
|Number of passengers (scheduled) (m)||5.2||7.0||7.3||7.2||7.2||7.6||7.6|
|Passenger load factor (schedule) (%)||n/a||n/a||65.4||63.5||61.7||61.9||62.6|
|Number of aircraft (average) (*year end)||81*||80*||68||67||68||84||81|
Joint ventures and franchises
A joint venture with Finnair called Flybe Nordic started operations on 30 October 2011, when Finncomm Airlines was renamed Flybe Nordic as a result of ownership change. Route structure of the airline consists of franchise routes operated for Finnair and Flybe Nordic's own routes under BE- code. Also flights with BE- designator are code-shared with Finnair. Developments in the company have already started, as published by Airliner World
- On 24 April 2006 Flybe announced a 3-year deal with Southampton Football Club for sponsorship of the main club and shirt. On 11 December 2008, it was announced that Flybe had extended the deal by an extra year. However, this sponsorship deal has now ended with the club's decision to keep the club's shirts free of sponsorship for its 125th anniversary. Flybe are also the main and shirt sponsor of Exeter City Football Club and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
- Flybe formerly sponsored Norwich City (2006–2008), Birmingham City (2003–2007) and Southampton F.C. (2006–2010)
- Flybe sponsors the weather bulletins on ITV Meridian, STV, ITV West Country, Channel Television and UTV, and the sport sections of the Manchester Evening News, the Express & Echo (Exeter), the South Wales Echo (Cardiff), the Isle of Man Courier and the Isle of Man Examiner.
Norwich Airport rebate incident
In 2008, in order to avoid losing a £280,000 rebate from Norwich Airport, Flybe hired 172 actors as "fake passengers" on 11 flights to Dublin. As a result the environmental group Friends of the Earth called on the government to launch an investigation into the aviation industry.
As of October 2013, the Flybe fleet includes the following aircraft.
|Bombardier Dash 8 Q400||41||0||15||78||78|
- On 6 June 2005, Flybe placed an order for 14 Embraer E-195 aircraft plus options on an additional 12 aircraft. Flybe is the worldwide launch customer for the Embraer E-195. Delivery of the aircraft started in September 2006. The new aircraft were to replace Flybe's BAe 146 aircraft, completing the fleet rationalisation started in 2003 which also includes an order for up to 61 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft (41 firm orders and 20 options).
- On 14 June 2005, Flybe converted four existing Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 options into firm orders bringing its fleet of Q400s to 45 aircraft when they are delivered.
- On 1 September 2006, the airline received its first 118-seat Embraer 195, the launch customer of the product. Fitted with single Head-up Guidance System (HGS) and configured to offer single-class service, the aircraft is intended to replace the airline’s BAe 146s.
- In May 2007, the airline signed a deal for 15 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft valued at $394 million, with options for a further 15. It is the world's largest Q400 operator and this order will increase its Q400 fleet to 60.
- On 20 July 2010, Flybe placed an order for 35 Embraer E-175 aircraft worth $1.3bn, with options for 65 more (value $2.3bn) and purchase rights for a further 40 (value $1.4bn). The 88-seat aircraft was originally planned to be delivered between July 2011 and March 2017, with the first two aircraft actually arriving in November 2011.
- Flybe have started the process of reducing its fleet of Q400 aircraft as most of these aircraft are being replaced by the newer and slightly larger Embraer E175 jets. By the time this is finished, Flybe will operate 20 Q400s (down from a total of 57) and will have a mostly jet fleet. However, when taking into account Flybe's subsidiaries, there are still more turboprop aircraft operating under Flybe's name than jets, and it is one of few carriers in Europe that operates a large amount of turboprop planes.
- BAC One-Eleven
- BAe 146
- Boeing 737–300 Leased
- Bombardier CRJ200
- de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
- Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante
- Embraer ERJ 145
- Fokker F27
- Hawker Siddeley HS 748
- Short 360
- Bombardier Dash 8 300
Cabin and onboard service
Flybe employs allocated seating on all flights and passengers have the option to choose a seat online in advance. Economy Plus ticket holders receive a complimentary drink and snack, access to Flybe Executive Lounges, free prebooked seating and priority check-in. For Economy passengers, the airline operates a buy on board programme, called "Deli in the Sky", offering food and drinks for purchase.
The airline offers gifts and fragrances for sale on all flights, as well as duty free cigarettes and spirits on flights to destinations that are outside of the European Union, including Jersey and Guernsey. Onboard sales are an important part of the airline's ancillary revenue.
- "Annual Report 2013". Flybe Group plc. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Contact Us." Flybe. Retrieved on 29 August 2009. "Customer Call Centre Flybe Customer Call Centre Jack Walker House Exeter International Airport Devon EX5 2HL United Kingdom"
- Flybe Company Information
- Operating Licence
- "World airline directory: Jersey European Airways". Flight International, 26 July 1980, p. 323.
- Wright 2001, p. 48.
- Wright 2001, p. 49.
- Wright 2001, p. 52.
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 83.
- announced that they had completed the acquisition of BA Connect
- "Flybe signs historic franchise deal with Loganair". Flybe Press Office. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- HM The Queen's 2009 Birthday Honours List
- Regional airline Flybe raised £66m from stock market flotation
- Press Association. Press Association (14 November 2010). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
- "BBC News - Flybe ends Channel Islands' Gatwick routes". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- The London Stock Exchange welcomes Flybe to the Main Market
- "Annual Report 2008". Flybe Group plc. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "Annual Report 2009". Flybe Group plc. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "Annual Report 2010". Flybe Group plc. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "Annual Report 2011". Flybe Group plc. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "Flybe Nordic. A challenge to the Skyways-Cimber venture?". AirlineHunter. Retrieved 2011-07-04.
- "The Shirt Is Yours". saintsfc.co.uk.
- "Airline asks actors to fill bogus flights in bid to win £280,000 bonus". Daily Mail (London). 30 March 2008.
- Budget airline Flybe asks actors to fill seats to avoid penalties. This is Money (31 March 2008). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
- "Airline sought actors for flights". BBC News. 30 March 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Friends of the Earth: Archived press release: Government must urgently investigate aviation industry. Foe.co.uk (1 April 2008). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
- Flybe Codeshare Partners
- News Archives | July 2010. Flybe.com (13 July 2010). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
- "Flybe signs new codeshare with Etihad Airways". Flybe Press Office. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- "Flybe signs codeshare with Etihad". Business Traveller News. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- UK CAA Aircraft Register – Flybe Fleet
- "Flybe announces a deal for up to 140 Embraer E Series Aircraft". Flybe Press Office. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- Air International, July 2005
- Air Transport World 9 May 2007
- Flybe celebrates arrivial of new jets with a soaking!
- "Shopping." Flybe. Retrieved on 18 November 2008.
- Wright, Alan J. "Independent Survivor". Air International, July 2001. Vol 61 No 1. pp. 48–52.
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