Flybe bosses to take firm public

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Flybe bosses are set to take the regional carrier public

Regional airline Flybe has revealed plans to take the company public in a bid to raise £60 million.

The privately-owned carrier, which claims to be one of only a few European airlines to report profits since the financial crisis, said it will put some of the cash raised towards a fleet of new aircraft.

The airline, which will use the rest of the proceeds to support growth plans, such as code-sharing and takeovers, would not comment on the expected value but a recent report suggested it could be in the region of £200 million.

The current shareholders, which include the founding Walker family, British Airways, and chief executive Jim French, are not expected to sell their interests in the airline.

The Exeter-based carrier, which employs more than 2,900 people and operates 215 routes across Europe, posted pre-tax profits of £6.8 million in the year to March 31, down from £12.8 million the previous year.

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