“Virgin Atlantic Airways is in talks to acquire regional airline Flybe Group Plc (FLYB.L), Sky News reported on Thursday, a week after Flybe said it was in talks to sell itself.
A tie-up with Flybe would provide opportunities to feed passenger traffic into Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul network and access valuable take-off and landing slots at London Heathrow Airport, Sky News reported, citing unnamed sources.
Virgin Atlantic’s main business is UK-to-U.S. flights. The company is owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and U.S. airline Delta Air Lines.
The report did not mention any financial details. Flybe has a market capitalization of about 21 million pounds, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Flybe and Virgin Atlantic declined to comment.
Flybe issued a profit warning in October citing weakening demand, higher fuel costs and a weaker British pound.
Sky News had previously reported that Stobart Group Ltd (STOB.L) was likely to be one of the potential suitors for Flybe.”
“Flybe has called in accountants from KPMG as the low-cost airline attempts to save itself from collapse.
Britain’s biggest regional airline sounded the alarm yesterday by putting itself up for sale. The announcement came as half-year profits plunged and the company’s auditor, PwC, warned of “significant doubt” over its future.
KPMG has been appointed to provide Flybe with advice on its cash flow. City sources said the Monarch Airlines administrator is the frontrunner to take on a potential insolvency. …”
Looks like we are going to need the Magic Money Tree … again.
“Council leaders in Devon have offered to work with Flybe to keep it in Exeter.
In an open letter to the struggling airline, they say the airport brings in £150m a year to the local economy and creates “high value local jobs” which they do not want to lose.
Flybe is in talks about a possible sale of the group weeks after warning over profits.
Two-thirds of passengers at Exeter Airport fly with Flybe.
The letter was signed by the leaders of Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Exeter College and the Heart of the South West LEP.”
The airline employs around 1,000 people at Exeter airport and the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point relies heavily on the company’s HQ being in East Devon.
Here is the latest report of Exeter airport’s consultative committee in September 2018 was notable for unusually having no Flybe representative attending:
“One of Exeter’s most important employers, Flybe, has put itself up for sale – partly because it’s been hit hard by Brexit-related uncertainty and currency fluctuations.
The move was announced to the stock market this morning.
Flybe, which employs around a thousand staff at its Devon HQ, was linked with Stobart earlier this year but no deal resulted.
The airline’s share price and profitability have struggled for years.”