Flybe up for sale weeks after profit warning

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Flybe has put itself up for sale, less than a month after issuing a dramatic profit warning.

The Exeter-based regional airline’s board confirmed it was “in discussions with a number of strategic operators about a potential sale of the company”.

Flybe said it was also examining “capacity and cost-saving measures”.

Last month, the airline warned full-year losses would reach £22m because of falling consumer demand, a weaker pound and higher fuel costs.

The airline’s shares have fallen by almost 75% since September.

The Exeter-based airline is now valued at about £25m, far below the £215m it was valued at when it floated on the stock exchange in 2010.

Stobart Group – which pulled out of a bid to buy Flybe earlier this year after the airline rejected its offer – could be a possible purchaser, according to Sky News.

Flybe, whose roots date back to 1979, has 78 planes operating from smaller airports such as London City, Southampton and Norwich to destinations in the UK and Europe.

It serves about eight million passengers a year, but has been struggling to recover from a costly IT overhaul and has been trying to reduce costs.

Last month, Flybe’s chief executive, Christine Ourmieres-Widener, said it was reviewing “further capacity and cost-saving measures”.

“Stronger cost discipline is starting to have a positive impact across the business, but we aim to do more in the coming months, particularly against the headwinds of currency and fuel costs,” she said at the time.

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