McDonalds creates 100 new jobs as Flybe cuts staff

McDonalds McDonalds has 26 outlets in Northern Ireland, employing more than 2,000 people.

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The fast food chain, McDonalds, is to create 100 new jobs in Northern Ireland through investment in its restaurants.

The company has 26 Northern Ireland outlets, employing more than 2,000.

Meanwhile, regional airline Flybe has said it expects to make 15 of its 150 staff redundant at its Belfast base.

Flybe say they are not considering a reduction in the number of routes and destinations they fly to, but the frequency of flights from Belfast each day is under review.

Flybe made a loss of £1.3m in the first six months of 2012, and they are now trying to fill that gap and get the company to break even in the year 2013-2014.

As well as redundancies, the company are also hoping to save money by outsourcing some jobs in ground maintenance and catering from Belfast city airport to external companies.

Flybe claim that management will be taking the biggest hit in this round of redundancies, with 20% cuts being taken at boardroom level, and all executive directors forfeiting a month's pay.

Chief executive Jim French pinned the blame for the significant losses on the government's Air Passenger Duty tax. He claims that 18% of their UK ticket revenue is now Air Passenger Duty charges.

"If that was reduced to 6% as we have been campaigning for, then we would be in substantial profit. In 30 years of business, we've never been in this position before."

The news comes on a day when the latest figures revealed that Northern Ireland's overall unemployment rate has fallen slightly but the number of people signing on the dole continues to rise.

Last year, 70% of the new positions in McDonalds were given to those under 21.

Joanne Jones of McDonalds in Northern Ireland said it was important to give young people the chance to get workplace experience.

"I'm confident that in the year ahead there will be the same level of enthusiasm and talent from candidates in Northern Ireland, and we're looking forward to employing even more young people across the province," she said.

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