Flybe increases its presence in Finland
Exeter airline Flybe has announced a deal with a Finnish airline that will see it strengthen its presence in the Scandinavian market.
Flybe announced yesterday that its results, which are due on November 8, are in line with a management statement earlier this summer which indicated year-on-year growth of between 0 and 2%.
The airline has applied its successful regional-based business model to the Scandinavian market after seeing reduced domestic demand as a result of the recession.
It already operates Flybe Nordic as a joint venture with Finnair and has now announced that it will fly a further 12 Embraer E190 jets on behalf of the Finnish flag carrier.
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The agreement will see the aircraft used on European short haul routes carrying the Finnair livery, but flying under the Flybe Finland airline operating certificate.
Mike Rutter, managing director of Flybe Europe, said: "When Flybe expanded into the Baltic and Nordic regions in 2011 we did so because we identified exciting opportunities for growth in a marketplace which suited our proven business model well."
He added: "The scale of this new venture demonstrates Flybe Nordic's ability to deliver complex outsourcing projects which deliver substantial value to both parties, in this case Finnair and Flybe Nordic. This capability positions the joint venture well to offer similar services to other airlines in the Nordic and Baltic regions."
Flybe chairman and chief executive Jim French said: "Today's announcement marks another major step in the successful development of the Flybe Nordic business. This extension of our existing contract flying operations for Finnair is a key part of Flybe Nordic's strategy, adding substantial scale while balancing Flybe Group's overall risk.
"With this deal, 25% of the fleet under Flybe Group's management will be deployed under contract flying arrangements. We believe there are many more similar opportunities to develop this side of the business."
Earlier this year, Flybe posted a £7.1 million loss and has since launched its Making Flying Better initiative – which includes making Manchester a hub airport and establishing a clear booking and pricing structure, saying that it remained confident in the long term.