Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Low-cost airline cutting 158 jobs

Bmibaby plane
The industry is experiencing record losses

Up to 158 staff at low-cost airline bmibaby face losing their jobs under a restructuring programme.

An airport spokesperson said 54 pilot and 82 cabin crew positions at Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff airports were "at risk of redundancy".

The airline also said it was reducing its number of aircraft from 17 to 12 next year.

Managing director Crawford Rix said the industry was experiencing record losses and action had to be taken.

Another 22 management and support positions at the firm's head office at Castle Donington, in Leicestershire, are also at risk.

It is thought at least 66 pilots and cabin crew at Birmingham will be affected as well as 25 positions lost at Cardiff, out of a total staff of 87.

The firm said it was too early to say which services would be cut.

'Sharp end'

It also said the restructuring could lead to additional services at East Midlands Airport next year and the creation of 10 pilot and 15 cabin crew positions.

Mr Rix said efforts had to be focused on routes and services that the company felt were the best fit for its business.

The firm said discussions had been started with staff and union representatives with a view to minimising job losses where possible.

Union leaders said they would be talking to the company to ensure compulsory redundancies would not be needed.

Brian Boyd, Unite's national officer for aviation, said: "Today's announcement casts further doubt over the whole bmi group as its new owners Lufthansa search for cost savings.

"Unite members are once again caught at the sharp end of business restructuring."

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