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Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 13:27 GMT
BA closes domestic air routes
Leeds-Bradford airport
BA is withdrawing from Leeds-Bradford airport
British Airways is to shut down 21 regional routes and withdraw completely from Leeds-Bradford airport.

BA will also cut services to and from Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton and Gatwick.

In contrast Manchester airport will receive a New Year boost with the introduction of three new routes and extra capacity, and the airline is to launch new services from London City Airport.

The company has also announced the end of six flights to UK regional destinations from Aberdeen Airport and the closure of its Cardiff operation.

We hope the overall impact on job numbers will be minimised

David Evans BA general manager

Two of the routes are being taken over by a Humberside-based firm as BA's CitiExpress operation reorganises its services.

BA admits the decision to cut its regional services by March next year, as part of a streamlining process, may lead to job losses.

The loss of six daily flights from Leeds-Bradford will affect the jobs of 59 pilots, cabin and ground crew.

Jets transferred

David Evans, BA general manager UK business, said: "The proposed withdrawal of services from Cardiff and Leeds-Bradford has been a tough decision to take.

"But it was crucial to underpin the rest of the operation as we move forward.

"Due to redeployment opportunities within the company and the proposed transfer of some employees to eastern we hope the overall impact on job numbers will be minimised.

"This will be the subject of consultation with our staff representatives and trade union partners in the coming weeks."

"We understand"

Rob Lund, director of operations at Leeds-Bradford airport said he understood BA's decision.

"We are very disappointed obviously but we can understand why they are having to review what they are doing around the UK," he said.

"It's a setback but things could have been worse and bearing in mind our plans with Jet2 and British Midland the significance of the whole thing is not that great."

BA has signed an agreement with Humberside-based Eastern Airways to transfer its 12-strong fleet of Jetstream 41s to the airline.

Eastern hope to cushion the BA blow by operating routes from Leeds-Bradford, Birmingham, Newcastle and Southampton.

British Airways CitiExpress, a wholly owned subsidiary of BA, will launch three new routes from London City Airport in April next year.

See also:

17 Dec 02 | Wales
17 Dec 02 | Scotland
17 Dec 02 | England
11 Dec 02 | Business
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