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From The Times this morning: Everything that could go wrong is going wrong for the regional airline Flybe, which says a tough aviation market will send it into the red, even without other issues to spook investors. In a statement before the close of its financial year tomorrow, Flybe said that its online offering was not what it could be and it has issues with software and IT contracts which will take up to £10 million off profits. Even before that, Flybe was going to make “a small loss”. The news sent the airline’s already depressed share price down more than 5 per cent before it recovered to close 50p down at £42.50. For a company that has used its fair share of excuses over the years Flybe’s statement was vintage. “The [fourth- quarter] period has been characterised by weak demand in an uncertain consumer environment, together with price competition arising from overcapacity amongst airlines and sharpened price activity from rail operators,” it said. “Weather related and operational cancellations, as well as industrial action, mainly by French air traffic controllers, also impacted revenue.” Saad Hammad quit as chief executive in the autumn after three years of what Flybe billed as “a major transformation”. It then announced a 70 per cent plunge in pre-tax profits at the half year to £7 million. The statement continued: “Flybe is planning a major upgrade to its core systems, which will significantly improve the customer experience and allow greater ecommerce. A full review of software assets and IT contracts is expected to result in additional cost and non-cash writedowns, which could impact profit by around £5 million to £10 million. Excluding this, adjusted profit before tax for the year ended March 31 is expected to be a small loss.” Christine Ourmières-Widener, chief executive, said that she remained “very excited about the opportunities in Flybe”. Announcing plans to reduce its fleet of 85 aircraft, Ms Ourmières-Widener said: “We must first rebuild some of our core systems and this is now starting. “We shall continue to reduce costs, work with our partners to improve efficiency and stop unprofitable flying.” Oh dear... could reduced number of aircraft = reduced number of flights to/from IOM?? IMO DED should be seriously worried about this.
Things at the airport must be getting bad if Terry Liddiard, ex Manx Airlines CEO posted this to a bunch of politicians regarding their Open Skies policy (Basically EasyJet cutting off FlyBe's profitable routes) Manx Airlines boss warns of danger On the plus side, it's great for the consumer at the moment with £16.99 EasyJet fares to Liverpool and Gatwick for the Winter. On the down side, if FlyBe pull out of the island, we lose a crap load of jobs and loads of frequency. I guess people will vote with their feet, as I don't expect the politicians to do anything about it.
I have just travelled by Flybe from Southampton to the Isle of Man with my luggage in a small suitcase which I have used on many occasions. This I had understood complied with aircraft travel conditions as it easily fits in overhead luggage racks. However this time the check- in receptionist at Southampton asked me to place the bag on the scales. It weighed 8.7kgm. Then she asked me to place it in the apparatus to check the measurements. The length turmed out to be 4cm over their limit due to the handle. As a result I was asked to pay £30 extra i.e. approximately another 50% on the fare. I regard this charge as excessive. It appears to me that the 12 passengers who boarded the 78 seater aircraft were being closely monitored to reduce the loss Flybe must have incurred on this part of the journey. Passengers checking into all the Flybe flights were routinely being referred for excesss baggage. What experiences on charges have you had? Perhaps they should be collated to enable Government to amend the passenger charter.