'Incredibly unsettling'

Unite seeks urgent meeting with Flybe management amid press speculation

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Unite, which represents hundreds of members at regional airline Flybe, is seeking an urgent meeting with the company following press speculation about its future.


Quoting unnamed ‘aviation industry sources’, Sky News reported on Monday (January 13) that it had learned that Flybe, which handles more than half of the UK’s domestic flights outside London, has been attempting to secure additional financing after being hit by successive losses.


The BBC reported that responding to media speculation, Flybe boss Mark Anderson wrote an email to staff saying management was committed to turning the airline around.


“All my energy, and that of our Leadership Team, is very focused on continuing to turn Flybe, soon to be Virgin Connect, around and deliver the heartfelt service that our customers expect,” he wrote.


“I do appreciate that the headlines some of you have already read are disturbing but I want you to know that we are determined to do everything we can to make this work.”


Unite criticised media speculation and said that the union is committed to preserving jobs.


“The speculation about Flybe’s future is deeply unhelpful and incredibly unsettling for the company’s loyal workforce,” said Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland. “Unite is now seeking an urgent meeting with the company to fully understand the challenges Flybe is facing.


“Unite is committed to helping ensure the future of the company and to preserve jobs but this can’t be achieved if the union is kept in the dark,” she added. “It is essential that the government plays an active role in helping to ensure that Flybe continues to operate. It is not acceptable for the government simply to prepare for failure.


“The government must demonstrate that it has learnt the lessons from the collapse of Monarch, which it failed to apply during the collapse of Thomas Cook.


“The government must implement both the Airline Insolvency Review and the Insolvency and Corporate Governance Review at the earliest possible opportunity. It has previously committed to do so, but actions speak far louder than words.”


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