Flybe Prepare to Float

A familiar site over Eastleigh skies: A Flybe Bombardier Q400

Budget airline Flybe, the largest operator at Eastleigh (Southampton) Airport is about to float itself on the stock exchange it has been reported in the Financial Times.

The domestic carrier, which is partly owned by British Airways, is hoping to raise £200 million to continue its expansion program.

Earlier this year the operator announced plans to buy a fleet of new Brazilian built aircraft worth up to a potential $5 billion. A recent tie up with Air France has seen it taking on extra overseas routes – they opened a route from Eastleigh to Paris Orly- and they have been in talks with Finnair to open up Scandinavian routes.

The group, which saw revenues of £570m and pre-tax profits of £5.7m last year, has tried to float several times before, but has been forced to abandon its plans.

Carrying 7.2m passengers last year, Flybe operates 203 routes to 13 countries frm 38 airports and has a fleet of 72 aircraft.

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