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Flybe to cut 50 fewer jobs than feared

FLYBE has scaled back from 500 to 450 the number of redundancies it is proposing to make under actions taken by its new executive team which build on an earlier turnaround plan.

TURBULENCE: Airline Flybe has scaled back the number of redundancies it will make by building on an earlier turnaround plan. Picture: Colin Mearns
TURBULENCE: Airline Flybe has scaled back the number of redundancies it will make by building on an earlier turnaround plan. Picture: Colin Mearns

The regional air carrier, which says the actions will save it £7 million in 2013/14 and £26m next year, announced in November that 133 roles would be made redundant across its operations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. It said it is also on course to deliver £40m in savings from the first two phases of a turnaround plan initiated by its previous leadership.

A spokeswoman would not comment specifically on what the latest guidance will mean for staff in Scotland, beyond stating there would be no change in the proportion of roles being cut north of the Border. No specific reasons were given for scaling back the redundancy proposals, which will see 40 to 60 of the cuts made on a compulsory basis.

The announcement yesterday came as Exeter-based Flybe reported a 0.4% increase in total revenues to £137.6m for its UK airline business. This came in spite of total seat capacity being down by 2.3% in the UK, and by 1.8% on scheduled flights.

The company also booked a 2.3% increase in passenger revenue per seat to £48.46, and a 5.2% decrease in costs per seat to £41.58, excluding fuel and restructuring costs.

Flybe confirmed it will reduce its UK base network from 13 to seven by March, with sites in Aberdeen and Inverness among those earmarked for closure.

The company has rationalised its UK routes ahead of the summer season, starting in April, which has had an impact on 55 of last summer's 140 routes.

It has discontinued 30 unprofitable routes, including three from Glasgow - to Cardiff, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Shannon - and one from Edinburgh to Knock Ireland.

Flybe said it will sustain one-off and grounded aircraft costs of £14m this year, with a further £27m to come in 2014/15. It noted that it was continuing to work on reducing the cost of aircraft grounding.

Shares in Flybe closed up 1.75p at 107p.

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