1. ITV Report

Trade unions voice concerns over Flybe potential sale

Trade unions have voiced their concerns following the announcement that Flybe is to put itself up for sale.

The airline that provides islanders with inter-island links as well as routes to the UK says it is in talks with a number of "strategic operators" about a potential sale.

Flybe recently issued a profit warning due to falling demand, a £29 million hit from rising fuel costs and the weak pound.

Representatives from trade unions Unite and Prospect, which both operate in the Channel Islands, and the British Airline Pilots' Association have issued these statements.

Flybe's workforce is the lifeblood of the airline, delivering excellent customer service, while working hard to ensure it remains profitable. News of a potential sale will be unsettling for workers.

Unite will be pressing Flybe management for further detail on its plans and expects to be fully consulted by any potential buyers on what the future holds.

Unite will put any potential bids under the microscope. Our first priority will be to remove the uncertainty facing our members by seeking assurances on jobs, pay and terms and conditions from both Flybe and any potential new owners.

– Oliver Richardson, national officer, Unite

This is more uncertainty for the staff we represent at Flybe.

We are offering our full support to those affected and hope that whatever happens Flybe can continue as a going concern with jobs protected.

Urgent talks have already begun between Prospect and the company and we will continue to represent the views of our members in discussions with them.

– Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of engineers, Prospect

Flybe is the largest regional airline in Europe with 2,300 talented, committed employees in the UK who will be very worried to hear this morning that their company is up for sale.

Despite warnings this will still be a bolt out of the blue. BALPA believes that Flybe is fundamentally a sound airline and we will scrutinise any offers to buy Flybe very carefully to ensure continued employment is protected. We also expect to be consulted by Flybe and potential bidders over any future plans they have for the airline and its employees, and we reserve our right tov express our opinion and take any other steps in order to protect our members' interests.

– Brian Strutton, general secretary, British Airline Pilots' Association

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