Flybe said on Tuesday that its pre-tax loss narrowed in the year to the end of March 2018 as revenue and passenger numbers rose.
The airline's pre-tax loss came in at £9.4m from £48.5m the year before - a figure that was restated from £19.9m for an onerous lease provision and impairment of related assets totalling £28.6m.
Flybe said the focus on high-demand routes and reduction in less popular flights resulted in a load factor increase to 75.6% from 69.6% and a 10.1% increase in revenue per seat to £53.79 from £48.84. Passenger numbers, meanwhile, were up 7.7% to 9.5m, while passenger revenue increased 9.1% to £675.8m.
Chief executive officer Christine Ourmieres-Widener said: "Flybe has made significant progress during my first full year as CEO. With our fleet size under control, we are already delivering improvements to passenger yield, load factors and revenue. Our Sustainable Business Improvement Plan, launched last year, is enhancing the business in a number of key areas including, network decision-making, revenue management and commercial performance. Profitability has however been impacted by higher maintenance costs, IT investment and the poor weather in the final quarter.
"We now have a new senior management team in place, with greater aviation experience, and we are all focused on delivering the business plan through continued improvements to revenue, a renewed focus on cost reduction and therefore achieving profitability."
Fly said the European aviation market continues to be "challenging", with many airlines taking a hit from excess seat capacity in the short-haul market, a weaker pound, higher fuel prices and business and consumer uncertainty.
"Within this market, the board believes that Flybe offers a differentiated regional business model and has the right strategy to deliver a sustainable profitable future."
The company said that as at 14 June, forward sales for the first half have been "encouraging", with a 1.4% increase in passenger revenue versus the prior year, 54% of seats sold versus 49% a year ago and a 0.9% jump in revenue per seat.
At 1030 BST, the shares
were down 6.3% to 37.40p.