Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic in takeover talks with regional airline Flybe

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Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic in takeover talks with struggling regional airline Flybe

  • Flybe shares up nearly 20 per cent today at 11.4p in response to the news
  • The regional airline put itself up for sale last week after warning over profits 
  • Exeter-based carrier is battling challenging conditions in the airline industry

Alex Sebastian For This Is Money

Virgin Atlantic is in talks on a takeover of struggling budget airline Flybe.

Virgin, part owned by Sir Richard Branson, is thought to be vying with Stobart to buy Flybe and is interested in its take-off and landing slots at London’s Heathrow Airport. Flybe shares were up nearly 20 per cent today at 11.4p in response to the news.

The regional airline put itself up for sale last week after warning over profits earlier in the year. 

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic is in talks on a takeover of regional airline Flybe.

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic is in talks on a takeover of regional airline Flybe.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is in talks on a takeover of regional airline Flybe.

The Exeter-based carrier is battling challenging conditions in the airline industry and has been hit with falling demand and a £29million hit from rising fuel costs and the weak pound.

Flybe has 78 planes operating from smaller airports including London City, Southampton and Norwich, and flies to destinations across the UK and Europe. It carries around eight million passengers a year.

Virgin Atlantic’s plan would bring customers into its long-haul network via Flybe’s domestic routes, according to reports.

Trade unions have already raised concerns over the impact of a Flybe’s sale on the carrier’s 2,300 employees.

Flybe has 78 planes operating from smaller airports around the UK including London City, Southampton and Norwich.

Flybe has 78 planes operating from smaller airports around the UK including London City, Southampton and Norwich.

Flybe has 78 planes operating from smaller airports around the UK including London City, Southampton and Norwich.

In results announced last week it reported statutory pre-tax profits for the six months to September 30 more than halved to £7.4 million from £16.1 million a year earlier.

Revenues fell 10 per cent, or 2.4 per cent on an underlying basis, to £409.2 million after it cut capacity by 9 per cent.

 

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