CityJet moves to make 700-plus staff redundant

Airline to lay off 276 in its Dublin and London operations as part of restructuring

CityJet’s financial difficulties have been exacerbated after its fleet was grounded by the Covid-19 outbreak.

CityJet’s financial difficulties have been exacerbated after its fleet was grounded by the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

CityJet plans to make more than 700 staff redundant – 60 per cent of its employees – as the company restructures as part of an examinership process.

The company said it would start a consultation process across its Ireland and Britain operations, anticipating that as many as 276 staff would be let go from its Dublin and London bases.

The airline, which flies routes on behalf of other airlines including SAS and Aer Lingus, employs 1,175 people across the group, more than 410 of whom are based in Dublin.

The plan to make staff redundant in Dublin and London forms part of a wider restructuring. It is understood that, in addition to the proposed redundancy of 276 staff, the bulk of which will be in Dublin, the company is in talks with unions in other countries to make 450 staff redundant across its bases in Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Finland, France and Brussels. In total, the company will shed about 726 staff, The Irish Times understands. It is expected that the company’s headquarters will remain in Dublin.

Court protection

CityJet, best-known for flying routes out of London City Airport, sought the protection of the courts from its creditors last month due to financial difficulties that were exacerbated after its fleet was grounded by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The examinership process in which it is participating involves a full review of the company to ensure it can successfully be restructured to be sustainable in the long term.

A spokesman said that includes examining the “current shape and size of the company, the current and potential business opportunities and the cost base and structures required to deliver a successful future”.

Redundancies in the organisation are expected to affect the airline’s administration, flying and engineering support staff. The company is also engaged in processes affecting the majority of its European bases to “right size its operation to supper the smaller scale of flying now required”.

‘Enforced downsizing’

“CityJet has operated from Dublin for almost 27 years so this is a sad time for us as we must react to market conditions and enter into an enforced downsizing of our core infrastructure,” Pat Byrne, executive chairman of CityJet Dac, said.

“CityJet is made up of hundreds of dedicated people with extraordinary skills and it is sincerely regrettable that we now must prepare to lose the skills and services of so many of our loyal and excellent colleagues. Our priority is to put CityJet back on a stable footing during this examinership process and we are working with the examiner to make every effort to get through the examinership process successfully,” he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic effectively wiped out demand for the company’s services which previously saw it fly on behalf of airlines such as Air France, Brussels Airlines and Hop! (a division of Air France). The company also had 10 bases in locations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki and Paris.

It is understood that the company, which has more than 30 aircraft, engaged with trade unions on Thursday, advising them of their position.