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Pilots among 250 airline staff axed as CityJet examinership continues

 

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Troubled times: CityJet no longer operates flights under its own name. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Troubled times: CityJet no longer operates flights under its own name. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Troubled times: CityJet no longer operates flights under its own name. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Dublin-based airline CityJet is formally making more than 250 staff redundant, it has confirmed to the Irish Independent.

The carrier said that 46 pilots and 62 cabin crew had been notified last week that they have been axed. A small number more will be lost this week.

The airline, headed by founder and executive chairman Pat Byrne, added that it had also previously identified 149 roles in Dublin and Luton that were at risk. The roles are at head office, and in support and engineering sections.

"A number of these roles have also received their redundancy notifications and the remainder are expected to be issued in the coming days," CityJet said.

The move comes as the carrier, controlled by leasing firm Falko, continues its examinership process. It employed 1,100 people before the Covid crisis.

Some pilots have accused the airline of attempting to offshore jobs to Denmark - a claim that's been strenuously denied by the carrier.

Pilots staged a protest outside CityJet's headquarters near Dublin Airport last month as job cuts loomed.

"Unfortunately, it has not proved possible to find any solution to the current situation other than to make compulsory redundancies," a letter from CityJet on Friday to one pilot noted.

The airline operated a mixed fleet of aircraft prior to the pandemic, including CRJ900s and Avros. CityJet does not operate flights under its own name any more, instead providing its services to other carriers. Its only remaining contract is with Scandinavian carrier SAS.

"CityJet is not offshoring jobs for pilots as we employ CRJ900 type rated pilots in Scandinavia where the only flying operations we have managed to retain are actually based," it said. "This cannot be described as offshoring as the pilots involved live and work there, and have been employed for a number of years."

The examinership extension was granted by the High Court on June 25. CityJet pilots wrote to Mr Byrne the next day.

"Some of us, a small number, will have the option to move to Copenhagen, uprooting our families, and doing untold damage to our family life, as we currently know it," they said in the letter.

Twenty of the Dublin-based pilots made redundant last week have been offered roles by CityJet in Copenhagen.

Irish Independent