Unions welcome Flybe rescue plan

Unions have welcomed plans to rescue struggling airline Flybe.

The government has agreed a loan of around £100m to the Exeter-based firm, a £1106m tax repayment plan and a commitment from owners to put more money into the company.

BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said: “This is good news for 2,400 Flybe staff whose jobs are secured and regional communities who would have lost their air connectivity without Flybe.

“BALPA looks forward to discussing the airline’s future plans in detail with management, meanwhile passengers can be confident that Flybe remains an excellent choice for regional flying.

“The government is to be applauded for stepping up to the plate to help one of the few remaining independent UK airlines and a vital one at that.”

Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said: “If this deal proves to protect the future of Flybe, our members will breathe a sigh of relief. We welcome the action from government and shareholders which will make sure our members can continue to serve local communities.

“This episode highlights the need for longer term thinking from government about the future of connectivity in the UK, regional economic policy and the ongoing challenge of reducing emissions, and we await details of the government’s strategy to address these issues.”

Unite  assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “Thousands of Flybe employees and thousands more workers in regional airports and in the company’s supply chain will be breathing a collective sigh of relief.

“However we now need a joined up approach by government to develop a coherent transport and regional strategy to secure the long-term future of Flybe, regional airports and other regional airlines, with the union properly included by the employer and the government , this is about communities and people as well as businesses.”

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