Flight operator takes off with help from Reward Finance

Photograph: (taken to celebrate the inaugural flight to Greece from Southampton) (Left to Right): Cllr Spiros Vassiliou, Southampton City Council, Neil Garwood CEO Southampton Airport, Steven Marshall the airport’s head of airline marketing & development and Paul Dendle CEO Flylolo.com

Flylolo, a flight operator specialising in purchasing seats on ‘peak season’ flights and selling them to individuals and families at reduced rates, is flying high following the granting of a revolving credit facility by Reward Finance Group.

Typically operating from smaller regional airports, such as Southampton and flying to Greece and the Canaries, Flylolo buys aircraft seats in bulk, by finding under-utilised aircraft, in order to obtain the best prices.

With the company providing ATOL protection on all bookings means that money from customer sales has to be deposited in a protected trust account and cannot be transferred to the business until the flights have operated. As Flylolo has grown it has resulted in a cashflow challenge, as it can be many months from purchasing the tickets to accessing the funds.

Parisa Lian of alternative SME funder, Reward Finance, who arranged the credit facility, recognised the challenge for the company.

“As the awareness and reputation of Flylolo has grown, so have sales of its lower priced ‘holiday season’ seats,” she said.

“To satisfy the growing demand, the company needed additional cash to buy increasing numbers of tickets early in the season. With a relatively long period from purchase to payment means the amount of tickets they can buy is restricted by the amount of cash available.

“As a proven and growing business we were keen to help Flylolo enjoy even greater success by plugging the working capital requirement until payment for the seats is received.”

Will Mason, Associate Director at Liquidity Club, who introduced Flylolo to Reward Finance added: “It was fantastic to provide the company with a solution given the complexity of the business cashflow. Reward has added real value both in cash and relationship terms. We look forward to seeing Flylolo grow over the coming years and working with them in the future.”

Managing Director of Flylolo, Paul Dendle, who has extensive experience of the travel and airline industry, is looking forward to building on its success.

“Every year we hear about families who have to pay inflated prices to go abroad during the Summer or Christmas school holidays.

“Therefore the principle of our business is straightforward. By purchasing seats on flights in bulk, when they are at their cheapest, we can pass some of these savings on to our customers.

“Parisa and the Reward team have been a real asset to our team. I have been impressed with the way the deal has been structured by using existing assets to leverage cash. The new credit facility has allowed us to take advantage of purchase opportunities which are crucial to our business.”