21-Sep-2010 12:03 PM

flybe to continue to expand in Europe, looks to acquire regional airlines

flybe announced (20-Sep-2010) it has continued to roll out its European growth strategy, announcing several landmark deals in Jul-2010 and Aug-2010, including a codeshare agreement with Air France. It is also in ongoing discussions with Finnair to co-operate for the provision of regional services in Scandinavian and Baltic areas. The carrier stated these developments will help to consolidate the group’s position as a major European carrier and provide a solid platform for growth within Continental Western Europe. It added that along with its relationship with British Airways, flybe is now in a position to take advantage of key strategic alliances with some of Europe’s largest legacy carriers, underpinned by the announcement of a substantial order to purchase up to 140 Embraer E-Series aircraft in Jul-2010. This enhanced capacity will support the group’s long-term growth and will support its expansion plans over the next two to three years. Chairman and CEO, Jim French, confirmed the carrier has a team “looking at acquisitions” of regional carriers in Europe, but would not disclose which countries the carrier is looking into (Sky News Online, 20-Sep-2010). [more]

flybe: “While the global economic outlook remains unclear, we remain optimistic that flybe will continue to make strong progress during 2010/11, especially as a result of our recent deals with Air France and Embraer. We have a proven business model and strategy, and supportive owners. We have continued to grow our market share in the UK and have announced a string of exciting business developments which will accelerate the roll-out of the flybe proposition into continental Europe, and we possess the flexibility within our fleet to accomplish this expansion. Our brand, which is already well established in the UK, is increasingly well known in Continental Europe and we continue to achieve operational efficiencies that significantly differentiate flybe from other airlines … What we will do in Europe is regional, we will go into a regional market. We have no desire to be another BA, easyJet or BMI,” Jim French, Chairman and CEO. Source: Flybe/Sky News Online, 20-Sep-2010.

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