Flybe’s losses soar to £40.7m


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The Independent Online

The regional airline Flybe has flown further into the red, blaming lower demand for domestic flights, high fuel bills and airport charges.

The annual pre-tax loss slumped to £40.7m from £6.2m a  year earlier. The plunge came in spite of Flybe’s recently axeing 490 jobs, more than a fifth of its employees, to save money. The carrier is also cutting pilots’ salaries by up to 5 per cent.

Flybe’s founder and chief executive, Jim French, has pulled the airline out of Gatwick, selling all its 25 daily slots at the airport to easyJet for £20m.

The airline, Europe’s largest regional carrier, has also deferred the arrival of 16 new jets due for delivery in the next two years, delaying the need to pay out £20m.