Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Flybe to close six regional bases

Airline Flybe will close six regional bases.
Airline Flybe will close six regional bases.

Embattled airline Flybe confirmed the closure of six of its regional bases as it set out details of 500 job cuts announced earlier this week.

Bases at Aberdeen, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle will shut down, although the airline said it would continue to fly to the airports.

But the heaviest location for job losses will be at its headquarters in Exeter, where 116 face the axe.

The carrier also said there would be cuts at Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Southampton.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) said the redundancies included 179 pilots, but a spokeswoman for the airline would not comment on the figure.

Flybe announced the job losses on Monday as part of a cost-cutting drive that will also see the carrier review unprofitable routes.

It is part of an overhaul being led by new chief executive Saad Hammad, who says that without the restructuring the business, which employs 2,700 people, cannot be viable.

Flybe said today that it had now begun consultations with unions over the redundancies and had agreed to publish the further details.

Mr Hammad said: "We are committed to connecting the UK's regions and we intend to continue flying to these airports after the base closures.

"I know that these proposals are creating great personal uncertainty but they are necessary to secure a long-term future for Flybe."

Balpa general secretary, Jim McAuslan, said: "Flybe needs to get back on the right track, but it is extremely disappointing that redundancies will be needed to do that.

"Pilots and their families will be suffering as they await further news. But so will the communities and islands served by Flybe.

"Flybe plays an important part in connecting the countries, regions and islands of the UK and it would harm the local economy of those areas if connections are lost."

:: Numbers earmarked for redundancies are: Aberdeen, 12; Belfast, 52; Birmingham, 49; Edinburgh, 49; Exeter, 116; Guernsey, 12; Glasgow, 37; Inverness, 35; Isle of Man, 49; Jersey, 35; Manchester, 13; Newcastle, 17; Southampton, 17.

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