Flybe cuts - which routes are at risk?


Flybe's new strategy is to focus on core airports where the airline can offer a sustainable range of profitable niche routes. Our independent fare analysis tool enables us to evaluate which of these airports are the most lucrative based on average fares.

Flybe today (11th November) announced improved six-month results, alongside a plan to further cut operating costs. A new management team is in place, with the mission of restructuring the airline to focus on profitable bases and routes.

Our partner business, RDC Aviation, has been monitoring the ticket prices on Flybe.com since June 2013 on every route across its network . We now have more than 70,000 fares in our database and can use this to evaluate the profitability on a route-by-route basis.

For airports where Flybe has a significant presence, our analysis suggests that the average one-way yield per passenger is:

AirportTotal departures, 2013Average one-way fare, £
Paris CDG3,501102.87
Amsterdam2,84593.07
Aberdeen5,28891.65
Inverness3,80987.16
Helsinki4,94386.89
Birmingham12,75285.90
Edinburgh10,96783.59
Manchester13,81878.32
Exeter4,38178.32
Southampton14,66778.10
Glasgow12,20676.00
Jersey5,38375.49
Gatwick8,31773.65
East Midlands4,11573.52
Newcastle2,70970.85
Guernsey4,01066.53
Belfast City12,71062.06
Isle of Man4,97560.96

Sources: Capstats, 2013 and RDC Aviation fare data June-December 2013

Of course, many factors will come into play when considering which ought to be the focus airports for Flybe. The relatively small aircraft in the fleet, which by definition have a higher seat cost, mean that the airline will always struggle to compete head-to-head with either easyJet or Ryanair. Our analysis helps to identify which niche routes are generating higher yields and should be retained as the core of a sustainable, rationalised future network.

RDC Aviation's coverage of airline fares has recently been expanded for 2014 and now covers the complete networks of:

  • Ryanair
  • easyJet
  • Flybe
  • Monarch
  • Aer Lingus
  • Wizz
  • Norwegian
  • Jet2
  • Air Berlin
  • Vueling
  • Thomson

by Mark Scourse