Flybe blames bad weather for £4m drop in revenue
Flybe, which flies to 15 UK destinations from Belfast City Airport, has warned that its full-year results will take a hit from the extreme weather in February and March.
The regional airline, which is in the midst of a turnaround under boss Christine Ourmieres-Widener, said that it had to cancel 994 flights in the fourth quarter due to the so-called Beast from the East
Flybe said: "We anticipate this to have an impact of around £4m from lost revenue and additional care and assistance costs on cancelled and delayed flights.
"Coming so late in the financial year means that this added loss will be reflected in our full-year financial results."
Notwithstanding the weather, the group flagged that its turnaround efforts are bearing some fruit, with passenger revenue per seat up by 9% to £50.84 in the period.
Passenger numbers rose by 3.7% and early indications of summer trading are "encouraging", with an estimated 7.5% increase in passenger revenue per seat.
Ms Ourmieres-Widener added: "The Flybe strategy as set out in our business plan to reduce the fleet size is delivering higher load factors and revenue per seat.
"The drive to reduce costs is continuing, given added impetus by the rise in fuel prices and lower value of sterling."