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Exeter International Airport is an airport serving the city of Exeter in the county of Devon, in south England. The airport is operated by Regional and City Airports Ltd. Exeter is a base for Flybe and Thomson Airways, and host a large number of aviation organisations and private aircraft operators including Exeter Flying Club, Airways Flight Training, Aviation South West, Capital Aviation and Hunter Flying Club. The vast majority of traffic at Exeter is seasonal, with most traffic headed to holiday destinations across Europe, the Meditteranean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Canary Islands and North Africa in the warmer months. Flybe operates year-round service to destinations in western Europe and the UK.
Location of Exeter Airport, United Kingdom
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After three years of widening full year losses, Flybe has reported a return to pre-tax profits in 1HFY2014. The Group’s new CEO Saad Hammad joined in Aug-2013, when long-serving CEO and Chairman Jim French became non-executive Chairman. The break with the past was completed on 5-Nov-2013, when Mr French was replaced as Chairman by Simon Laffin, whose experience includes real estate, retail, media and financial services.
Mr Hammad, a former CCO at easyJet and non-executive director at Air Berlin plc, has immediately increased the targeted benefits under the Group’s restructuring plan, recognising that its previous goals would not be enough. In terms of market presence, Flybe has a strong niche in UK regional markets and a small, but growing, foothold in contract flying in mainland Europe.
However, its cost base remains uncompetitive and Mr Hammad may need to drive out even more cost if he is to realise his aim to make Flybe “the best local airline in Europe”.
flybe, the UK’s largest domestic carrier, reported a full-year net profit of GBP3.8 million, an 82.9% fall on its FY2009/10 result. The result was weighed down by volcanic ash and weather disruptions, which masked an otherwise strong performance at the Exeter-based company.
Bournemouth (UK) based Palmair announced that it intends to suspend all services at Bournemouth Airport for the months of Nov-2010, Dec-2010 and Jan-2011, citing poor advance bookings for winter, but hopes to produce a reduced winter timetable from Feb-2011 onwards. Despite this temporary setback Palmair, which claims to be Britain’s oldest tour operator, is one of the industry’s survivors, having been in business as the ‘in-house’ airline of a travel agent and tour operator, Bath Travel, since 1958 – 52 years.
Flybe has propelled itself into a whole new ballgame, following a "substantial" agreement with Embraer to purchase up to 140 88-seat E175 and E-family aircraft, with the first delivery (of the firm orders) scheduled for Sep-2011 through Mar-2017. The order comprises 35 (firm) E175 aircraft valued at USD1.3 billion, 65 options (USD2.3 billion) and 40 purchase rights (USD1.4 billion – making USD5 billion in total). The carrier says this "provides a platform for Flybe’s expansion into Continental Europe.” Having once been given little chance of success as a too-vaguely defined ‘hybrid’ airline, Flybe now claims to be Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s largest domestic airline with over 25% market share. It is now set to export a proven business model into continental western Europe. The big question is: as it pokes its nose above the radar, can Flybe sustain the inevitable added competition?
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