Flybe to cease jet flights out of Doncaster Sheffield Airport

A major airline has announced it will no longer operate jet flights out of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

By Dan Hayes
Wednesday, 03 April, 2019, 14:58

FlyBe says it will ‘cease jet operations’ out of the South Yorkshire Airport with effect from the start of the 2019-20 winter programme.

The decision means a number of routes from the airport will be terminated, but flights on Bombardier Q400 propellor planes - the type typically used to make shorter journeys within the UK - will continue.

A aircraft operated by the airline Flybe (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images).

The airline’s base for servicing jets at the airport will also close, they added.

As well as Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Flybe will also be scrapping jet flights out of Cardiff and Exeter airports.

Staff were reportedly told of the changes in meetings at 4am this morning, with workers informed that there may be redundancies for cabin crew but not pilots.

Flybe CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener said: “Our fleet reduction has always been core to improving our profitability.

“We are committed to assisting all our affected employees across the impacted Flybe bases.

“We remain fully committed to Exeter, Cardiff and Doncaster airports and will continue to offer a comprehensive choice of regional and European destinations operated by our 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.”

On Wednesday morning Flybe cancelled around two dozen flights in and out of UK airports for operational reasons.

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However, an airline spokesperson said the current flight cancellations being experienced were ‘not linked’ and were the result of a ‘combination of other factors’.

A Doncaster Sheffield Airport spokesperson said: “Flybe have operated services at various levels from Doncaster Sheffield Airport since 2006.

“Flybe have recently changed ownership with future plans to restructure including a move away from jet flying to stabilise the business across their network.

“We are working closely with Flybe and expect them to continue operating at DSA beyond the current summer and winter 19/20 schedule which will be on sale shortly.”

The union Unite, which represents over 450 workers at Flybe, said consultation talks would begin next week (April 10).

Unite regional officer Peter Coulson said: “Unite is seeking to minimise the potential job losses and secure assurances about Flybe’s long-term future.

“Our members are justifiably concerned about their jobs and future employment, as a result of the company cancelling a number of flights for ‘operational reasons’ and having launched a redundancy programme.

“It is essential that Flybe is fully transparent with its workforce about the exact situation facing the company. The current uncertainty is incredibly unsettling and is in danger of severely damaging morale at the company.”

In January Flybe was purchased for £2.2 million by a consortium of Virgin Atlantic and the Stobart Group. Cyrus Capital Partners also has a stake in the new venture.