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Flybe to cut 500 jobs despite return to profit

flybe400Flybe, the Exeter-based airline, has announced plans to cut 500 jobs across the business, despite reporting a return to profit.

Pre-tax profits were £13.8m for the six months to 30 September, compared with a loss of £1.6m a year earlier. The company said its turnaround plan was on track to make £40m of savings this year and £45m in 2014-15.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), has said it was “shocked” by the decision to cut jobs, and has stated it has committed to working with the company to ensure that as many of the redundancies as possible are voluntary and to support pilots through this difficult process.

Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad, who joined the company in August, has reportedly said he cannot say where the job losses would fall at this stage. “We’re consulting with unions and our staff.” As part of the cost-cutting programme some routes could “possibly” go, Mr Hammad said. “These are challenging times,” he added.

Flybe announced earlier this year that it would cut 300 jobs and reduce fleet size in a bit to return to profitability.

Meetings with the company are planned this week at which the details of the 500 redundancies will be announced.