CityJet expects jobs losses over London City base downsizing

Airline to increase services from Dublin Airport to London City Airport

CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne said the carrier would be reducing the size of its crew base at London City Airport and would begin talks with the crew affected. Photograph: Getty Images

CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne said the carrier would be reducing the size of its crew base at London City Airport and would begin talks with the crew affected. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Irish airline CityJet expects some jobs will be lost as a result of its plan to cut the size of its base in London City Airport.

CityJet has 60 staff and crew based at London City, where it is one of the biggest airlines, flying to Irish and European destinations 150 times a week.

Executive chairman Pat Byrne said on Tuesday the carrier would be reducing the size of its crew base at the airport and would begin talks with the crew affected.

“We will be able to offer some opportunities for employment elsewhere within CityJet but regrettably we expect that there will be redundancies among some of our workforce in London,” he said.

CityJet has already confirmed it will no longer be flying London City to Paris Orly and Nantes from the end of this month. It is also reducing flights from the British capital to Amsterdam.

Dublin service

However, it will increase services from Dublin Airport to London City, as demand for these flights continues to grow.

Mr Byrne said it would continue to review its scheduled services’ performance and efficiency.

Over the last two years, CityJet has shifted its focus from scheduled services to flying routes for other airlines using its own craft and crew, an arrangement known as “wet leasing”.

Its executive chairman pointed out that it was on course to have 80 per cent of its fleet on wet lease to other airlines while keeping a high-quality scheduled operation.

Its most recent purchase, Danish regional airline Cimber, wet-leases craft to Scandinavian group SAS.

CityJet acquired a crew base in Copenhagen Airport as a result of that deal, which it completed just over four weeks ago.

The Irish airline also has bases in Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Helsinki, Paris and Stockholm.

Ryanair

Meanwhile, Ryanair will launch Frankfurt-London flights from next October, putting it in direct competition with Germany’s Lufthansa.

The Irish airline already flies from Frankfurt to Spain and Portugal, but chief executive Michael O’Leary said it wanted to attract more business passengers at the German airport.

Lufthansa looks set to respond by using its budget carrier, Eurowings, to launch services from Frankfurt.

“The boardroom of Lufthansa is the only place in Europe where people think that Eurowings is low-cost,” O’Leary said of the the prospect. – (Additional reporting: Reuters)

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