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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 21.05.2019, 04:20

Flybe: many airlines will experience difficulties

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 29.09.2011.Print version
Many airlines will experience hard times in the near future, and the reason is slower growth, reduced economies and higher fuel costs, as Mike Rutter, CEO for the Flybe airline, says in an interview with newspaper Diena.

Flybe successor Flybe Nordic, jointly owned by Flybe and the Finnish airline Finnair, is slowly becoming a competitor for airBaltic. In July, Finnair acquired Finnish Commuter Airlines (also known as Finncom) for EUR 25 million and named the new joint venture Flybe Nordic. One of the airline's target markets is the Baltic States, says Rutter.


Flybe already is the largest regional carrier in Europe. The airline's scale of operations allows it to make voluminous investments in the Nordic countries. It has already bought the Finnish Finncom and made some steps towards expansion in new markets, for example, in Estonia. Flybe wants to expand in the Swedish and Danish markets, as well as in Latvia and Lithuania. The airline expansion is implemented by natural growth or by acquiring other airlines. Many companies in the region are experiencing difficulties at the moment, and this is the opportunity for others, says Rutter.


He reminds that Flybe has recently launched new routes from Tallinn to Finnish and Swedish cities. The company is planning to connect Tallinn with Lithuania and Latvia, and to expand in Swedish and Danish markets, reports LETA.


Announcements regarding Riga and Vilnius can be expected in mid-2012, Rutter informs.


Flybe is planning to carry three to four million passengers a year in 2013 and 2014. The number of aircraft in the region will be 30 to 35.


Rutter does not disclose the company's intentions regarding purchase of other airlines, but reveals that negotiations are currently taking place with two airlines in the Nordic and Baltic regions.


Commenting the future of the European aviation industry, he emphasizes that it will experience significant consolidation processes, which will be more serious than over the past few decades.


Many airlines are definitely on the verge of hard times due to slower growth, reduced economy and higher fuel costs. Many independent companies will be taken over by the larger ones, and the European aviation industry will face significant changes, says Rutter.

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