BMIbaby targets redundancies and fleet reduction

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BMIbaby is to make 158 staff redundant and scale down its fleet from 17 aircraft to 12 as part of a restructuring programme.

BMI's low-cost subsidiary is planning staff cuts at Birmingham, Manchester, and Cardiff airports, with a total of 54 pilot and 82 cabin crew positions earmarked for redundancy. In addition, 22 management and support positions at head office and the airport bases are to be eliminated. BMIbaby says discussions with staff and union representatives are underway.

Fleet reduction will be facilitated by "greater operational efficiencies and optimising aircraft utilisation", says the airline, adding: "The move comes against a background of the worst economic recession in recent times and record losses in the aviation industry."

The restructuring programme is intended to "focus its activities on the routes where there are clear indications and prospects for future growth and development".

As part of the programme, the number of destinations BMIbaby serves from East Midlands Airport will be increased, and 10 pilot and 15 cabin crew positions will be created at this airport.