Flybe has declared an end to the boom in domestic air travel as the regional airline reported a deepening drop in demand for British routes.
The Exeter-based carrier runs domestic services which include Manchester to Norwich and Aberdeen to Gatwick, but the fallibility of its business to UK demand has been underlined by two profit warnings this year.
Flybe avoided another surprise on earnings on Wednesday as it published first-half results, though an increase of pre-tax profits in the six months to 30 September of £8.2m to £14.3m had been forecast to be significantly higher at one point this year. Before the profit warnings, Flybe had been expecting to make £36m.
As well as the poor profits performance, the results contained a further admission of weakness in the UK market. Flybe said winter bookings were down 1% compared with last year, confirming a deterioration of sales on top of an already poor outlook. Only last month Flybe had forecast a 1% increase in winter bookings.Read More »