Flybe celebrates its first profit in four years as customer numbers increase

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Budget carrier Flybe Group reported its first profit in four years following cost-cutting measures and an increase in customer numbers.

The company, which flies from Leeds-Bradford International Airport, said it made a good start to the new financial year and trading is in line with expectations.

The airline, which serves 35 UK airports having reduced its number of bases from 13 to seven in the last year, reported bottom-line profits of £8.1m in the year to March 31, compared with a loss of £41.1m a year earlier.

Chief executive Saad 
Hammad said the figures marked the “rebirth of Flybe” after a 
restructuring that has seen the loss of 1,100 jobs and a 1.4 per cent reduction in capacity as it moves to shed loss-making routes.

It carried a record 7.7 million passengers on its UK scheduled services in the period, a rise of 6.9 per cent as it benefited from fare promotions and better routes.

The airline recently announced five new routes from London City airport and a complete relaunch of the Flybe brand, but some further job losses are still likely after this summer as seasonal routes are discontinued.

Airline profits have been under pressure over the past few years as cash-strapped customers took fewer flights following the financial crisis.

Terminals have been packed full of travellers waiting to find out when they can fly. PA

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