No hope for Duo as administrator lays off workforce

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Administrators for UK regional carrier Duo Airways have dashed any hopes of returning the airline to operation after making almost the entire workforce redundant.

Birmingham-based Duo suspended operations on 1 May after running into financial difficulties. Administrator Deloitte & Touche has now laid off 260 staff – of which all but ten are located at the airline’s Birmingham head office – because the company does not have enough capital to retain them.

Duo, the former UK division of Denmark’s Maersk Air, employed around 300 personnel. It operated regional jets from Birmingham and Edinburgh on routes to the European continent and Scandinavia.

The administrator has said that Duo cannot realistically be returned to trading status. Duo has been looking for investment “for some time”, says a Deloitte spokesman.

While the administration process would normally try to trade the company back into a self-supporting operation, he says, the funds have run dry and there are no prospects for Duo’s survival. Resurrection of the company, he adds, has “been ruled out”.

Among the 260 personnel affected by the redundancy move are flight crew, engineers and office workers.

“It is regrettable that this step had to be taken but funds were not available to operate the airline,” says Bill Dawson, one of the two administrators overseeing Duo. “A small core of staff has been retained to ensure that the recovery of funds for creditors is maximised.”

Duo began operating only last year following a management buy-out of the carrier from Maersk Air, but the airline ran into difficulties after revenues failed to meet expectations.