FLYBE BUST! Tories to blame – BALPA

Heathrow demonstration against poverty pay in 2019. Now mass redundancies are expected with FLYBE's collapse

‘FLYBE staff feel disgusted at this betrayal and these broken promises,’ pilots union BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said yesterday as the news broke that Flybe has collapsed with the loss of 2,000 jobs. The union blamed the government for refusing to bail Flybe out.

Strutton said: ‘2,000 staff members have today woken up to the loss of their jobs, and many thousands more airport and other workers in the supply chain will also be deeply concerned. A year ago, Flybe was taken over by new owners with promises of funding for a bright future.

‘Six weeks ago, when the ownership consortium lost confidence, the government promised a rescue package, apparently at that time recognising the value of Flybe to the regional economy of the UK. Throughout, pilots, cabin crew and ground staff have done their jobs brilliantly, while behind the scenes the owners and, sadly, government connived to walk away.

‘Flybe staff will feel disgusted at this betrayal and these broken promises. What happened to shareholders’ promises of a bright future as “Virgin Connect”?

‘What happened to the government rescue deal? It’s frankly sickening that other airlines have gone out of their way to push Flybe over the brink, putting 2,000 people out of work. How are staff going to find new jobs in the current climate?

‘BALPA will be supporting the pilots in coming to terms with this situation and helping them with their rights and entitlements as well as training them for alternative jobs.

‘UK airline, Flybe operated routes which were not only economically and regionally vital, but also profitable.’

The GMB union warned of the ‘domino’ effect in the supply chain.

GMB analysis has revealed that a further 1,400 jobs in the supply chain are threatened.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer said: ‘The collapse of Flybe is a tragedy for the company’s loyal workforce.

‘A domino effect now puts 1,400 jobs in the wider supply chain at immediate risk and threatens the future of vital regional airports.

‘The last thing regions crying out for investment need is to see infrastructure that maintains good jobs ripped away.

‘We need the government to urgently step in and save jobs wherever possible.

‘The damage to already fragile local economies must be minimised.’