Restructuring regional carrier Flybe is to close bases at six UK airports in relation to its plan to cut 500 more jobs
The carrier has begun consultations with unions on the proposed base closures at Aberdeen, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle.
"We are committed to connecting the UK's regions and we intend to continue flying to these airports after the base closures," says Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad.
The carrier is cutting 500 jobs as part of further restructuring measures and has published details of proposed job losses across 13 bases. More than a fifth of these will be at its home base of Exeter.
"I know that these proposals are creating great personal uncertainty but they are necessary to secure a long-term future for Flybe and I am grateful to the various union and staff representatives for the very constructive manner in which we have been able to commence the consultation process," says Hammad.
UK pilots body BALPA says 179 pilots will be made redundant as part of the restructuring. This includes a reduction of pilot numbers across all of its existing bases except Manchester.
BALPA general secretary Jim McAuslan says: "‘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."
The airline has been a sharp critic of the impact the UK's air passenger duty tax has had on the profitability of its domestic flights and BALPA is urging the UK Government to ease this burden. "Domestic flights, which form a very large proportion of Flybe’s network, are hit with double APD charges. BALPA has written to the economic secretary to the treasury, Nicky Morgan, to ask her to at least consider removing that double taxation, or to look at reducing APD on non-London domestic flights," says McAuslan.