Flybe puts itself up for sale

Flybe up for sale weeks after profit warning

Troubled airline Flybe puts itself up for sale

The airline told investors that "it is in discussions with a number of strategic operators about a potential sale of the company".

The Devon-based airline has announced it has been put up for sale, while passengers have been told that travel will continual as normal.

The Exeter-based airline operates 192 routes from 75 airports and has the highest number of flights at a dozen United Kingdom airports, including Aberdeen, Belfast City, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Southampton.

Shares at the airline halved last month when the company issued a full-year profit warning, and it revealed the extent of the damage in its half-year results this morning.

It has appointed Evercore as its financial adviser to assist with the review, though it said "there can be no certainty that an offer will be made".

The group has 78 planes and serves around eight million customers a year.

The announcement came as the carrier reported a fall of more than half in pre-tax profits to £7.4m for the six months to the end of September, compared to £16.1m in the same period past year.

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Profits have been hit by fuel costs and the weak pound.

The regional airline is expected to say on Wednesday that its board is exploring a sale or a merger with a rival, according to Sky News.

It saw group revenues fall 10% or 2.4% on an underlying basis to £409.2 million after it cut capacity by 9%.

Chief executive Christine Ourmières-Widener said continued improvements were being seen into the current third quarter - with a higher portion of seats sold than a year ago - that showed "the popularity of Flybe for our customers".

"There has been a recent softening in growth in the short-haul market, as well as continued headwinds from higher fuel and currency costs", she said in a statement.

"We are responding to this by reviewing every aspect of our business".

"We also expect to be consulted by Flybe and potential bidders over any future plans they have for the airline and its employees".

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