Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which represents 500 workers at airliner Flybe is urging the government to develop a coherent regional transport strategy, which includes long-term support for regional airports.

Government review

The government announced this week that it would launch a review into regional airlines this week following the warning that airline Flybe was in financial difficulties.

However Unite believes that a long-term solution is needed which protects all regional airlines, regional airports and the supply chain. Thousands of jobs are potentially at risk if the government fails to provide assistance and a long-term strategy.

Crucial role

Unite national officer for civil aviation Oliver Richardson said: “Regional airlines and regional airports play a crucial role in ensuring that people can travel for work and leisure. They are essential for the health of regional economies and there needs to a long-term coherent strategy to ensure they thrive.

“There are thousands of workers employed at Flybe, on other domestic routes, at regional airports and in their supply chains, whose jobs may hang in the balance, unless the government develops a long-term coherent regional transport strategy.

“The development of any such strategy must fully include unions who are the authentic voice of the workforce.

“Unite has written to both the government and Flybe to seek urgent meetings to better understand the deal secured this week and the long-term plans for Flybe and the regional airline industry.

“Unite believes that the criticism of the government’s proposals to assist Flybe by the likes of Willie Walsh and Michael O’Leary is highly ironic given the fact that under the former’s stewardship British Airways pulled out of providing a domestic service in the UK and Ryanair operates no domestic routes”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey..