Flybe reshape continues as three senior figures depart
Three long-serving senior managers have left Flybe as new chief executive Saad Hammad continues to reshape the business.
Andrew Strong, managing director of Flybe UK, Mike Rutter, managing director of Flybe Outsourcing Solutions, and Mark Chown, director of corporate strategy, left their positions with the Exeter-based airline on Friday.
The three stepped down from the Flybe board at the beginning of August, but had continued to report to Mr Hammad in their existing roles.
Their departures follow a reorganisation of Flybe's operational structure.
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Since his arrival last month, Mr Hammad has been conducting a full review of Flybe's operations. In a statement to the stock exchange yesterday morning, Flybe said: "Whilst the review is ongoing, it is already apparent that the future direction of the business will be best advanced through a unified and lower cost operational approach.
"Consequently, the current divisional structure, comprising Flybe UK and Flybe Outsourcing Solutions, will be disbanded and all operations integrated into a single operating unit.
"The board wishes Andrew, Mike and Mark well for the future and also thanks them for their significant contributions at Flybe."
Mr Hammad added: "It has quickly become clear to me that Flybe's prospects will be significantly enhanced by disbanding the existing divisional structure and integrating all operations into a single, simpler and lower-cost operating unit.
"Today's announcement facilitates that move and will form an important part of the strategic review of the business, which I expect to conclude in November.
"I look forward to sharing its full conclusions."
Paul Simmons, who worked alongside Mr Hammad at easyJet, will join Flybe as chief commercial officer with effect from October 28.
As part of the newly announced shake-up, Matt Bennett, currently director of internal audit and risk, will, in addition to his current duties, act as director of special projects, while John Palmer, currently director of aircraft maintenance, will become interim director of operations. The trio will report to Mr Hammad and act as members of the operating board.
Flybe is on track to slash its cost base by £40 million during this current financial year, while annual savings are expected to rise to £49 million from 2014/15 onwards.
The company's ongoing turnaround plan has seen about 490 people leave the business so far this year.
In the three months to the end of June, Flybe UK's revenues of £152.4 million were down 1.2% on the same period a year ago.
But Flybe UK managed to increase passenger numbers by 4.9% to two million while trimming capacity, cutting the number of seats flown by 1.6%.