British budget airline Flybe and five oil companies are planning initial public offerings in London next year which are expected to value them collectively at 1.5 billion pounds ($2.46 billion), the Sunday Times reported.

The paper said Flybe had instructed advisers Merrill Lynch to prepare for a listing, and was likely to hold its IPO after the airline's 2009 results are published in March.

Exeter-based Flybe, which operates 180 routes between 55 European airports, is expected to attract a valuation of about 300 million pounds, the paper added, without citing sources.

Flybe may consider the possibility of a public listing when investor demand returns, the airline said in a statement.

The Sunday Times also reported that oil companies Fairfield Energy, Kuwait Energy, Caithness Petroleum, Exillon Energy, and Canamens are at varying stages of preparing IPOs.

The five are expected to have a combined valuation of 1.2 billion pounds if their flotations proceed, it said.

None of the companies were immediately available for comment.

Reuters first reported that Dubai-based Exillon was planning a London IPO on November 3.

The number and average size of flotations launched in London fell sharply this year due to highly volatile market conditions and a tough economic climate, but the IPO pipeline has picked up across Europe as markets stabilize and the economic outlook improves.

Separately, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that insurance brokers Hyperion Insurance Group and Cooper Gay were also planning to float on the London Stock Exchange.

($1=.6105 pounds)

(Reporting by Myles Neligan; Editing by Mike Nesbit)