The government must take steps to ensure that Newquay Airport is not put at risk following the collapse of Flybe, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 5 March).
Flybe, which entered administration last night, was responsible for 66 per cent of flights in and out of Newquay Airport, where Unite represents staff carrying out a number of vital roles.
Some of the flights were subsidised under a public service obligation to provide transport links in and out of the region.
Unite warned that the airline’s collapse could have potentially ‘dire implications’ for the airport and Cornwall’s economy.
Unite said that as well as impacting Flybe’s workforce, the airline’s collapse could also affect workers employed at Newquay Airport, including fire and rescue staff, re-fuelers, ground crews and passenger service staff.
In response to Flybe going under, bosses have already cancelled the contracts of 50 new starters due to begin work at the airport.
Newquay Airport is also home to a number of business, including cutting edge satellite firm Space Port and defence contractors.
Unite regional officer Deborah Hopkins said: “Flybe’s collapse is terrible news not just for the airlines’ workforce but for the many staff at Newquay Airport, where nearly 70 per cent of flights were operated by Flybe.
“Unite is working with Flybe to protect jobs and services. However, the government has a responsibility to preserve regional connectivity that the airline was subsidised to provide.
“Flybe’s demise could very well have dire implications for the future of Newquay Airport and Cornwall’s economy.
“Newquay Airport provides skilled jobs and serves as an economic hub in an area where much of the work is low paid and the demand for specialist roles is scarce – the government must guarantee that its future is secure.”