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Founded 1979 (as Jersey European Airways)
AOC # 601
Operating bases
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Avios
Airport lounge Flybe Executive Lounge
Subsidiaries Flybe Nordic
Fleet size 70
Destinations 102
Company slogan The Fastest Way From A to Flybe
Headquarters Jack Walker House
Exeter International Airport
Devon, England
Key people
  • Simon Laffin (Chairman)[1]
  • Saad Hammad (CEO)
  • Jack Walker (Founder)
  • Andrew Knuckey (CFO)
Revenue Increase £620.5 million (12 months to 31 March 2014)[2]
Operating income Increase £8.1 million (12 months to 31 March 2014)[2]
Net income Increase £8.0 million (12 months to 31 March 2014)[2]
Website .comflybe
Jack Walker House, Flybe head office at Exeter International Airport

Flybe Group plc (styled as flybe, pronounced ) is an English low-cost regional airline group based in Exeter.[3] It operates over 180 routes to 65 European airports and is Europe's largest regional airline, carrying over 7 million passengers during 2013.[4] The Flybe Group is a public company and employs around 2,600 people.[5]

Launched in 1979 under the name Jersey European Airways, the airline was later renamed British European (BE), and then Flybe. It took over BA Connect in 2007 to create Flybe Group.

In the UK, Flybe's largest base is at Birmingham Airport[6] and it has other large bases at Belfast, Manchester and Southampton airports, with a total of 14 crew and aircraft bases across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The company holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.[7]


  • History 1
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Ownership and structure 2.1
    • Business trends 2.2
    • Joint ventures and franchises 2.3
    • Sponsorship 2.4
  • Destinations 3
    • Partnerships and codeshare agreements 3.1
  • Fleet 4
    • Current fleet 4.1
    • Aircraft orders 4.2
    • Previously operated 4.3
  • Cabin and onboard service 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


A Jersey European Vickers Viscount seen at Düsseldorf International Airport in 1980.

Flybe started operations on 1 November 1979 as Jersey European Airways as a result of a merger of Jersey-based Intra Airways and Bournemouth-based Express Air Services,[8][9] and was founded by John Habin, a resident of Jersey and the majority investor. After selling Aviation Beauport and other business interests, Habin established some key routes from Jersey to the UK, before selling the airline in November 1983 to Jack Walker's Walker Steel Group, which already owned Blackpool-based charter airline Spacegrand Aviation. The two airlines were then run separately, with partially shared management, until 1985 when they amalgamated under the Jersey European name, with the airline's headquarters moving to Exeter.[10]

The airline became British European in June 2000,[11] shortening this title to Flybe on 18 July 2002 and repositioning itself as a full-service, low-fare airline.

On 3 November 2006 it was announced that Flybe would buy BA Connect, except for that airline's services out of London City Airport. The takeover was complete in March 2007. The expanded airline's owners were Rosedale Aviation Holdings (69%), Flybe staff (16%) and – as a result of the BA Connect takeover – International Airlines Group (15%).[12] The acquisition increased Flybe's route network in both the UK and continental Europe, making Flybe Europe's largest regional airline.[13]

On 14 January 2008 it was announced that Flybe had signed a franchise agreement with Scottish airline Loganair, to commence on 26 October 2008 following the termination of Loganair's franchise agreement with British Airways on 25 October 2008. The agreement would see Loganair aircraft flying in Flybe colours on 55 routes from Scotland.[14]

In 2008, in order to avoid losing a £280,000 rebate from Norwich Airport, Flybe hired 172 actors as "fake passengers" on 11 flights to Dublin.[15][16][17] As a result the environmental group Friends of the Earth called on the government to launch an investigation into the aviation industry.[18]

Chief Executive Officer Jim French was recognised in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List with a CBE for his services to the airline industry.[19]

On 10 December 2010, Flybe floated an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, with trading in shares commencing on the same day. Full public release of shares followed on 15 December 2010. The share price was set at 295p, valuing the company at approximately £215 million, and raising £66 million for the company, half of which was to pay for fleet expansion.[20][21]

On 23 May 2013, it was reported that Flybe had sold its slots at Gatwick airport to Easyjet for £20m, and that the slots would be handed over to Easyjet on 29 March 2014.[22]

On 23 April 2014, Flybe announced that it will launch domestic and international flights from London City from 27 October 2014 after signing a five-year deal with the Docklands Airport. The airline is expecting to carry around 500,000 passengers a year, with all 5 allocated aircraft being based around the Flybe network overnight.[23]

In March 2014, it was announced that Flybe would undergo a major brand refresh. This new scheme included a new purple aircraft livery and new interior features.[24] The first aircraft in the new livery will be the Spirit of Liberum, registered "G-JECY". [25] The aircraft carried the baton into Cardiff Airport for the Queen's Baton Relay in the buildup to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on 24 May 2014.

Corporate affairs

Ownership and structure

Former Jersey European logo, used from 1991–2000

Flybe is a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: FLYB).[26] Until November 2013, the main shareholder, with 48.1% of the shares, was Rosedale Aviation Holdings Limited,[5] the corporate representative of the trustee of the Jack Walker 1987 Settlement, which was established by the late Jack Walker, who was involved in Flybe’s early development.

The Flybe Group includes Flybe Aviation Services (engineering and maintenance), Flybe Training Academy (engineering and flight crew training), Flybe UK (airline operations) and Flybe Europe, the holding company for all European operations, which currently consists of Flybe Nordic.

Business trends

The trends for Flybe Group over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 March):

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Group turnover (total, less JV) (£m) 367.5 535.9 572.4 570.5 595.5 615.3 614.3 620.5
Profit/Loss (earnings before tax & adjustments) (£m) −16.2 30.4 0.1 5.7 7.6 −7.1 −23.2 8.1
Profit/Loss after (*before) tax (£m) −19.9 34.9 4.1 6.7 3.8 −6.4 −41.8 8.0
Number of employees (average) 1,931 3,197 2,860 2,798 2,949 2,781 2,667 2,650
Number of passengers (scheduled) (m) 5.2 7.0 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.6 7.2 7.7
Passenger load factor (schedule) (%) n/a n/a 65.4 63.5 61.7 61.9 62.6 69.5
Number of aircraft (average) (*year end) 81* 80* 68 67 68 84 81 97
Notes/sources [27] [27] [5][28] [5][29] [5][30] [5] [5] [2]

Joint ventures and franchises

Loganair have operated a number of flights in Scotland and Ireland for Flybe under a franchise agreement since 2008.[31]

Flybe purchased Finncomm Airlines with Finnair in July 2011,[32] and on 30 October 2011 rebranded the airline as Flybe Nordic. The joint venture operates its own routes along with franchise routes under a codeshare agreement for Finnair, operating under Flybe's BE-code. Flybe agreed to sell its 60% stake in Flybe Nordic to Finnair in November 2014 for €1, in an attempt to reduce group costs.[33]



Flybe operates short haul services to destinations throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and continental Europe.

Partnerships and codeshare agreements

Flybe has codeshare agreements with the following airlines, as of November 2014:[35]


Current fleet

Flybe Dash 8 Q400 in planform view
Alternative low cost, but not at any cost green livery

As of November 2014, the Flybe fleet includes the following aircraft.[40]

Aircraft orders

  • On 6 June 2005, Flybe placed an order for 14 Embraer E-195 aircraft plus options on an additional 12 aircraft. Flybe was the worldwide launch customer for the Embraer E-195. Delivery of the aircraft started in September 2006. The new aircraft were to replace Flybe's BAe 146 aircraft, completing the fleet rationalisation started in 2003 which also includes an order for up to 61 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft (41 firm orders and 20 options).
  • On 14 June 2005, Flybe converted four existing Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 options into firm orders bringing its fleet of Q400s to 45 aircraft when they were delivered.[44]
  • On 1 September 2006, the airline received its first 118-seat Embraer 195, the launch customer of the product. Fitted with single Head-up Guidance System (HGS) and configured to offer single-class service, the aircraft is intended to replace the airline’s BAe 146s.
  • In May 2007, the airline signed a deal for 15 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft valued at $394 million, with options for a further 15. It is the world's largest Q400 operator and this order will increase its Q400 fleet to 60.[45]
  • On 20 July 2010, Flybe placed an order for 35 Embraer E-175 aircraft worth $1.3bn, with options for 65 more (value $2.3bn) and purchase rights for a further 40 (value $1.4bn). The 88-seat aircraft was originally planned to be delivered between July 2011 and March 2017,[42] with the first two aircraft actually arriving in November 2011.[46]
  • In September 2014 Flybe reached an agreement with Embraer to cancel 20 orders for E-175 jets, and defer delivery of the outstanding 4 until 2018. Simultaneously Republic Airways placed an order for 50 E-175 jets, and agreed to lease 24 of their Q-400 aircraft to Flybe.[47]

Previously operated

Cabin and onboard service

Flybe employs allocated seating on all flights and passengers have the option to choose a seat online in advance. Economy Plus ticket holders receive a complimentary drink and snack, access to Flybe Executive Lounges, free prebooked seating and priority check-in. For Economy passengers, the airline operates a buy on board programme, called "Deli in the Sky", offering food and drinks for purchase.

The airline offers merchandise for sale on all flights, as well as duty-free cigarettes and spirits on flights to destinations that are outside of the European Union, including Jersey and Guernsey.[48] Onboard sales are an important part of the airline's ancillary revenue.


  1. ^ Thomas, Nathalie (2013-11-05). "Flybe appoints City veteran Simon Laffin as chairman - Yahoo Finance UK". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2013-4". Flybe Group plc. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Flybe. Retrieved on 29 August 2009. "Customer Call Centre Flybe Customer Call Centre Jack Walker House Exeter International Airport Devon EX5 2HL United Kingdom"
  4. ^ Flybe Company Information
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Annual Report 2013". Flybe Group plc. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Operating Licence". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  8. ^ "World airline directory: Jersey European Airways". Flight International, 26 July 1980, p. 323.
  9. ^ Wright 2001, p. 48.
  10. ^ Wright 2001, p. 49.
  11. ^ Wright 2001, p. 52.
  12. ^ "Directory: World Airlines".  
  13. ^ announced that they had completed the acquisition of BA Connect
  14. ^ "Flybe signs historic franchise deal with Loganair". Flybe Press Office. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  15. ^ "Airline asks actors to fill bogus flights in bid to win £280,000 bonus". Daily Mail (London). 30 March 2008. 
  16. ^ Budget airline Flybe asks actors to fill seats to avoid penalties. This is Money (31 March 2008). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
  17. ^ "Airline sought actors for flights". BBC News. 30 March 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  18. ^ Friends of the Earth: Archived press release: Government must urgently investigate aviation industry. (1 April 2008). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
  19. ^ "HM The Queen's 2009 Birthday Honours List" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  20. ^ Dan Milmo. "Regional airline Flybe raised £66m from stock market flotation". Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  21. ^ Press Association. Press Association (14 November 2010). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
  22. ^ "BBC News - Flybe ends Channel Islands' Gatwick routes". 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  23. ^ "BBC News - Flybe in London City Airport deal". 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  24. ^®ion=2
  25. ^
  26. ^ "The London Stock Exchange welcomes Flybe to the Main Market". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  27. ^ a b "Annual Report 2008". Flybe Group plc. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  28. ^ "Annual Report 2009". Flybe Group plc. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  29. ^ "Annual Report 2010". Flybe Group plc. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  30. ^ "Annual Report 2011". Flybe Group plc. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  31. ^ "Flybe signs historic franchise deal with Loganair". Flybe Press Office. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  32. ^ "Flybe Nordic. A challenge to the Skyways-Cimber venture?". AirlineHunter. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  33. ^ White, Anna (12 November 2014). "Flybe sells its Finnish business for €1". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "The Shirt Is Yours". 
  35. ^ Flybe Codeshare Partners
  36. ^ new EI codeshare
  37. ^ News Archives | July 2010. (13 July 2010). Retrieved on 2010-12-14.
  38. ^ "Flybe signs new codeshare with Etihad Airways". Flybe Press Office. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  39. ^ "Flybe signs codeshare with Etihad". Business Traveller News. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  40. ^ "GINFO Search Results Summary". Civil Aviation Authority. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  41. ^ a b "Republic to take 50 E-175s as Q400s head for Flybe". Flight Global. Retrieved 2014-09-17. 
  42. ^ a b "Flybe announces a deal for up to 140 Embraer E Series Aircraft". Flybe Press Office. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  43. ^ "Flybe Share Issue Prospectus". Flybe. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  44. ^ Air International, July 2005
  45. ^ Air Transport World 9 May 2007
  46. ^ "Flybe celebrates arrival of new jets with a soaking!". 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  47. ^
  48. ^ "Shopping." Flybe. Retrieved on 18 November 2008.
  • Wright, Alan J. "Independent Survivor". Air International, July 2001. Vol 61 No 1. pp. 48–52.

External links

  • Official website
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