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Flybe reduces fleet and cuts jobs in restructuring plan

flybe400UK regional carrier Flybe has announced it will cut up to 300 jobs from its workforce and reduce its fleet by seven aircraft in a bid to increase profitability and deliver a ‘new slimline business model’.

The restructuring will mean around 300 redundancies, including what is rumoured to be 88 pilot jobs – although the official number has yet to be released by Flybe.

This reduction in fleet-size will mean the sale of four owned aircraft and the planned removal of 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 this will remove around “£70 million of commercial revenue risk per annum.” The company does not currently envisage any significant change to the number of UK bases or its route network at this stage.

In a statement on the Flybe restructuring, British airline pilots union BALPA commented, “We will challenge ourselves to put the 300 job losses under the microscope. We will look at how savings might be made without redundancies but, if they have to be made, we will be aiming for none to be compulsory.” The union added, “We will challenge Government who so far have failed to act on the hugely damaging tax of Air Passenger Duty (APD).”

Chief Executive Jim French said that although the company has tried to avoid the cuts, but has recognised that “any significant change to the UK economy or a rebalancing of APD paid by regional and domestic passengers are likely to be some way off, today’s announcement represents a clear and realistic plan to return Flybe to profitability”