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Travel industry news

11 Jan 2019

BY James Chapple


Pilots’ union seeks job reassurances over Virgin Atlantic Flybe deal

Pilots’ union Balpa is seeking “urgent” reassurances on job security following news of a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium’s proposed takeover of Flybe.

Flybe logo

Pilots’ union seeks job reassurances over Virgin Atlantic Flybe deal

The British Airline Pilots Association, or Balpa, has called for talks with all parties to establish the likely impact on Flybe’s pilots and employees.

Details of the rescue bid emerged on Thursday evening (January 10) and were confirmed by Virgin and its partners on Friday morning (January 11).

Together with Stobart Group, which operates the Stobart Air Flybe franchise, and private equity firm Cyrus Capital, the newly-forced Connect Airways consortium has agreed a £2.2 million cash offer for the embattled regional carrier.

Connect has pledged to invest up to a further £100 million to establish new operations, with Flybe rebranded Virgin Atlantic.

Balpa though, while welcoming the certainty the deal affords Flybe, said it needed “reassurances on how the takeover will progress” and whether it will have any effect on pilot jobs.

Brian Strutton, Balpa general secretary, said: “Balpa wants to see guarantees of job security and a commitment to a positive future for our members in Flybe.

“We’re pleased to see the previous uncertainty of the company is at last starting to clear but the hard work has just begun. There has been no consultation with us by Flybe so we don’t know whether the deal on offer is good news or not – the jury is out.

“We urgently seek to talk with all parties to get further information and clarity over what this will mean for pilots and other employees.”

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