Following the collapse of UK-based regional airline, Flybe, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), which represents the pilots of Flybe, has made contact with the company’s administrators in order to explore with them which parts of the airline can be rescued.
Flybe performed an important function, connecting the nations and regions of the UK, providing employment and an economic stimulus in many areas and providing onward connections to other airlines. The airline was especially important to airports in Exeter, Newquay, Southampton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast and the Channel Islands.
BALPA general secretary, Brian Strutton, said, “2,000 staff members have today woken up to the loss of their jobs, and many thousand more airport and other workers in the supply chain will also be deeply concerned.
“I believe there is a good economic case for a strong regional UK airline. Flybe operated routes which were not only economically and regionally vital, but also profitable. We will be exploring with the administrators which parts of Flybe can be rescued or sold as a going concern in the hope that as many jobs as possible can be saved.”
Strutton has expressed further views on the collapse of Flybe: “A year ago Flybe was taken over by new owners with promises of funding for a bright future. Six weeks ago, when the ownership consortium lost confidence the Government promised a rescue package, apparently at that time recognising the value of Flybe to the regional economy of the UK.
“Throughout, pilots, cabin crew and ground staff have done their jobs brilliantly, while behind the scenes the owners and, sadly, Government connived to walk away. Flybe staff will feel disgusted at this betrayal and these broken promises. What happened to shareholders’ promises of a bright future as “Virgin Connect”?What happened to the Government rescue deal?
“It’s frankly sickening that other airlines have gone out of their way to push Flybe over the brink, putting 2,000 people out of work. How are staff going to find new jobs in the current climate?
“BALPA will be supporting the pilots in coming to terms with this situation and helping them with their rights and entitlements as well as training them for alternative jobs.”