Rosedale Aviation, which represent the interests of the family of the late Jack Walker, has disposed of its shareholding in Flybe.

The 48.1% shareholding was sold yesterday in the wake of a rise in the regional carrier’s share price following a return to profit in the half year to September.

Rosedale sold more than 36 million ordinary 1p shares in Flybe.

Airline chief executive Saad Hammad said: “This transaction marks another milestone in Flybe’s history.

“I would like to thank Rosedale Aviation for their support over many years. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome aboard our new shareholders and thank existing investors who have increased their holding as part of this transaction.

“As I reported in our half-year results on Monday, the economic environment remains challenging and all airlines face risks and uncertainties.

“I believe, however, that the turnaround of Flybe is gaining momentum. The immediate actions announced in our results will incur significant transitional costs, but will deliver a full payback over the next two years.

“The board is confident that these initiatives will put the group on a firm foundation for performance improvement and future growth.”

Flybe announced 500 job losses on Monday together with plans for route cuts and a review of the fleet.