Flybe to cut 500 jobs and reduce routes

11 Nov 2013 by GrahamSmith

Flybe will reduce the number of routes it operates after today announcing 500 jobs are to be cut across the business, the second set of mass redundancies the airline has announced this year.

In January, Flybe unveiled a major cost reduction plan, that included the loss of around 300 staff, following a loss of £1.6 million in the six months to September 30, 2012 (see news, January 24). Following this move, pre-tax profits for the six months to October 2013 came to £13.8 million.

However, the carrier has now announced another round of redundancies that it says will save the business £7 million this year and £26 million next year.

Chief executive Saad Hammad, who joined Flybe in August, admitted that the latest job cuts will mean the airline will reduce its number of flights.

He said: "Unfortunately there is a proposal for further redundancies. We will consult with the trade unions and employees to ensure that this is done fairly and delivers the right outcome for the business.

"We will make Flybe the best local airline in Europe. This is ambitious, but achievable provided that we can transform our cost base and efficiency now."

Pilot's trade union Balpa said it was "shocked" by the decision.

Flybe passenger numbers increased by 5.6 per cent to 4.3 million in the first six months of 2013.

In May, it emerged that the airline had sold its arrival and departure slots at Gatwick to Easyjet, blaming its decision on a 102 per cent rise in airport charges over the last five years (see news, May 23).

Graham Smith

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