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“Flybe to the Moon...” Behind the UK airline's massive Embraer order


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? [1996 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Two-type fleet strategy
  • Hybrid airline seeks hybrid aircraft (Must be environmentally friendly!)
  • UK cross country air services under threat by rail obsession; hence Europe the expansion target
  • Adaptable and niche-oriented, but added competition now inevitable
  • Strategic alliance with Air France
  • Does Flybe's balance sheet support the order?

Graphs and data:

  • Flybe aircraft fleet and orders (prior to Embraer order): Jul-2010
  • Flybe destination map: Jul-2010
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