Last night 2009 claimed another airline casualty: Scottish carrier Flyglobespan’s parent went into administration and the airline is ceasing operations today.
In a touch of irony, last year Flyglobespan was at the centre of a spat when Irish gambling website PaddyPower offered odds on a variety of airlines going under. Flyglobespan was its 6:4 favourite as the next carrier to enter administration and cease operating. At the time Flyglobespan chairman Tom Dalrymple rebuffed speculation, sending an open letter to the media outlining the airline’s fortunes.
Budget carriers have, as usual, come up with a bunch of rescue packages to help stranded travellers (and boost their own bottom lines) and the union Unite has fired some choice words at the airline’s management.
The Unite statement, which landed in journalists’ inboxes this morning, accuses Flyglobespan of “shocking mistreatment” of its workers, condemning the company for casting aside its 800 employees and throwing them into “a Christmas of misery with no wages and no job”.
I have every sympathy for Flyglobespan’s staff and passengers and there is no doubt that the timing is unfortunate, but to accuse management of mistreatment?
It’s a painful moment when a company has to admit failure and enter administration. From the outside, rather than mistreatment, this looks like this was an extremely tough - and largely unavoidable – decision.