An airline that has seen half-yearly losses of £1.3 million is lobbying for lower taxes.

Flybe – which has one of its bases at Leeds Bradford Airport – says Air Passenger Duty is a burden to the industry.

Now the company is looking at expanding its European operations against a back-drop of “challenges” in the UK.

Jim French, Flybe’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the performance for the six months to September 30 had been in line with revised estimates.

But he added: “The continuing challenges of the UK domestic aviation market further validate the importance of our decision to focus Flybe’s long-term strategy on rebalancing our route network by growing European operations.

“APD continues to be a burden to the industry and one that impacts disproportionately on Flybe compared to those with significant operations outside of the UK. We are actively lobbying for some changes in this area, although we recognise this will be a long-term project.”