Flybe to close six bases – But Norwich routes unaffected

A pilot completing final checks on a Flybe plane as the struggling regional airline has warned that

A pilot completing final checks on a Flybe plane as the struggling regional airline has warned that it plans to axe another 500 jobs in the latest round of cost- cutting. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire - Credit: PA

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.

But the boss of Norwich International Airport has allayed concerns that the cuts would hit the Flybe routes operating from the city – and that all services were running as normal.

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.

– Norwich airport boss hopeful over Flybe cuts

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

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

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich International Airport, said: 'We want to help Flybe in anyway we can. We are not a Flybe operating base and we were never in line for any closures. We are not aware of any impact on our services as a result of this announcement. Our Jersey flights are still on as scheduled.'

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.