Pilots union BALPA said the news is “a blow to the entire profession”, and to the UK’s transport infrastructure.
The airline will close its bases at Aberdeen, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle. All other bases except Manchester will see a reduction in pilot numbers. Knock-on effects on routes are not yet known.
BALPA’s General Secretary, Jim McAuslan, has said, “Flybe needs to get back on the right track, but it is extremely disappointing that redundancies will be needed to do that. We will be working with the company day-in, day-out to keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum and to help pilots who have loyally served the company and its passengers find new jobs.
“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. That is why the Government should assist Flybe by reducing Air Passenger Duty (APD).”
Domestic flights incur double APD charges and form a very large proportion of Flybe’s network. BALPA has written to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Nicky Morgan MP, to ask her to consider removing the double taxation, or to look at reducing APD on non-London domestic flights which are so important to the communities served, and to the pilots and staff who serve those routes.