Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FLYBE [Pounds sterling]518M ORDER SPICES UP AIR BATTLE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FLYBE [Pounds sterling]518M ORDER SPICES UP AIR BATTLE

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT LEA

REGIONAL airline operator British European was today set to unveil an $818 million (pound sterling518 million) aircraft order, one of the largest this year, in a bid to take on easyJet and Ryanair.

The move signals the latest step in the battle for Britain's air travelling public and could herald a takeover or flotation of the airline, which flies under the brand FlyBE.

It said today that it has placed 17 firm aircraft orders and signed options for 20 more with Canadian regional jet manufacturer Bombardier.

The order is for 78-seater turboprop Q400s, which have a list price of $22 million each.

The order marks another step in the evolution of the no-frills airline industry, with FlyBE betting that the Q400s can properly compete with the new-generation Boeing 737s with up to 180 seats that have become the workhorses of the low-fare carriers.

FlyBE, founded by the late steel magnate and Blackburn Rovers sugardaddy Jack Walker as Jersey European Airways, has made deep losses since the start of the decade. …

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