Thread: Flybe-9
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 15:00
  #578 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: leeds
Age: 72
Posts: 242
Originally Posted by brian_dromey View Post
I wonder if flyBe can actually shrink to profitability? I don't think any airline has successfully done that in history. I agree with statements that flyBe needs to concentrate on 'core' routes - what are these though? Although markets like MAN and BHX are mentioned, are they really making money flying a 76 seat jet to MXP when easyJet are on the same route and FR are flying up to twice daily to Bergamo. It might be better to serve the smaller regional airports - if you can avoid competing with yourself.
In any case flyBe have long had a problem competing with peers. They couldn't do it at Gatwick, have had a few stabs a LCY and are also at LHR. If flyBe want to improve the per-seat costs of the Q400 fleet they could install an extra 6-8 seats, but fundamentally flyBe needs to decide what kind of airline it wants to be and to stick with it. "Faster than Road or Rail" seemed a good idea and implied that although flyBe may be more expensive than other modes, flying would be quicker - maybe.
This is the post I most agree with re the events of the last few days. Every business needs a profitable core which provides a fallback position in difficult times and a springboard in better times. It feels as if flyBe has a lot of activities which wash their face when times are good but struggle in adverse conditions. Their best chance would be if the big boys decided they were better off franchising some feeder routes out rather than doing them themselves -- as with the old BA Connect services flyBe run out of Manchester and Birmingham. That might give a stable base to build around. But it would have to be genuinely seamless partnership in terms of check in, ground facilities etc. I was quite shocked a while back at Manchester that you couldn't check in at the empty flyBe desk for an AF flight to Paris, 'see that queue over there sir'. Maybe another category is routes which are near-commercial which there are public interest arguments for providing stability of support. We've seen over the last forty years the space occupied by flyBe is a declining market--- slot scarcity at the hubs, rail improvements, locos, APD, increased transit times through busy airports are just some of the factors. It's a tough old world out there and that's without making too many corporate mistakes.
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