Following the announcement that UK regional carrier Flybe will cut up to 300 jobs from its workforce and reduce its fleet by seven aircraft, the airline’s Director of Flight Operations, Captain Ian Baston, spoke to Pilot Career News about the impact on the airline’s current cadet schemes.
“Flybe is currently undergoing consultations over planned cost reduction programmes across the whole company, which includes reduced capacity of pilot numbers through aircraft disposal. A number of pilots are currently on Flybe supported training courses with Flight Training Europe, CAE/OAA, CTC and Stella Aviation Academy, and these courses will continue in their present form as planning for future attrition replacement, and any growth will involve on-going recruitment in due course.
“Flybe remains committed to supporting and recruiting ab initio pilots, recognising the quality of pilots entering the airline from its partially sponsored courses and intends to maintain its relationships with partner Flight Training Organisations.”
As to what this will mean for MPL cadets training towards a job with the airline, Cpt Baston further added, “The Multi Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) scheme does require the completion of type rating training prior to the issue of the licence and we are in consultation with the UK CAA over the completion of MPL training for pilots currently within such schemes if there are to be no places immediately available within Flybe. As an operator employing 20 MPL trained pilots, all of whom have met Flybe’s high training standards, we are certainly keen to continue to support this method of training.” Flybe currently offers Multi Crew Pilot Licence Training with Flight Training Europe and Stella Aviation Academy.
In its original statement, the airline confirmed restructuring will mean around 300 redundancies from its UK operations, including what is rumoured to be 88 pilot jobs, although the official number has yet to be released.
Further changes will see a reduction in the carrier’s fleet-size, with the sale of four owned aircraft and the planned removal of all 2013/14 growth aircraft. The airline operates Bombardier Q400s and Embraer regional jets – the types to be sold have not yet been released.
The company says that the combination of these changes will remove around £70m of commercial revenue risk per annum, by increasing profitability and delivering a new slimline business model. The company does not currently envisage any significant change to the number of UK bases or its route network at this stage.