Flybe announced earlier in the week that it has carried out a strategic review and that this review would lead to rationalising their UK network and reducing the number of regional airport bases. Part of the announcement highlighted the making of around 500 redundancies across the British Isles.
Today, Flybe has confirmed that it will be closing the base on the Isle of Man and several other regional airports. Currently 3 aircraft are based at Ronaldsway. One aircraft was going to leave at the end of the March when Flybe stops operating the Gatwick route. However, Flybe has informed their local staff today that they face redundancy in the New Year. About 50 people could be affected.
Minister for Infrastructure David Cretney MHK said:
'I am extremely saddened by today’s news that Flybe is pulling out of the Island as an aircraft base and that so many of the Flybe staff will be made redundant by this strategic review. Some of the Flybe staff have worked from Ronaldsway for many years; I very much hope that Flybe does all that it can to assist its staff. My Department will work with Flybe and our colleagues in the Department of Economic Development who are still skilled in helping individuals find alternative employment in the Island'.
Flybe have expressed that they remain fully committed to services to the Isle of Man and are trying to reassure passengers that they can continue to book with confidence.
The Director of Ports, Ann Reynolds, added:
'There have been no details regarding route stoppages or reductions, either for the Isle of Man or for other airports and we are waiting to hear exactly what services may be rationalised'.
In terms of the future, Mrs Reynolds said:
'We shall wait to hear from Flybe what effect their strategic review will have on the Island, and if appropriate, the Department will work hard to find an alternative carrier on any route that faces closure.'
For further information contact Ann Reynolds +44 1624 821684