It's been a tough few years for Exeter-based airline Flybe. Now, after its rescue by Virgin Connect, the company says redundancies could be on the way.
They say that pilots, engineers and cabin crew won't be affected, but managers and administrative staff in Exeter could be. Although they haven't put a number on the people affected, informed sources suggest it could be a few dozen. That's going to be “a challenging and difficult time, particularly for those affected. Consultation will start shortly, but the company says it's: “Fully committed to maintaining its Exeter infrastructure, including its HQ, MRO facility [us neither] and training academy.” They plan to become Europe's most-loved and successful regional airlines Flybe rebrands as Virgin Connect this spring.
Exeter Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Paul Nero, who's also managing director of Radio Exe, says that whilst redundancy is nearly always a tragedy for those selected, Exeter is a thriving city with very low levels of unemployment and jobs across a spectrum, from entry-level positions to high-level ones in the knowledge economy. Think tank the Centre for Cities shows that just two other cities in the UK beat Exeter for the proportion of workers in employment, and youth unemployment in Exeter is very low indeed.