Northern Ireland

Flybe cancels more Belfast flights

A Flybe plane Image copyright PA

Six Flybe flights in and out of Belfast City Airport on Friday have been cancelled.

Airports across the UK have been affected by cancellations, which come as the airline enters discussions about potential job losses.

On Wednesday five departures and five arrivals at Belfast were affected.

Flybe has been contacted but has not yet confirmed that the cancellations on Friday, like those on Wednesday, are due to "operational issues".

The company had blamed an industry-wide shortage of pilots for the delays, as well as its own pilots taking holidays.

Mark Scott, from Belfast, who was due to fly from London City Airport to Belfast City Airport was told on Thursday morning that his flight had been cancelled.

He was told he could get a refund or book another flight.

"I've now booked an evening flight but I've had to rejig my plans," he said.

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Media captionBelfast man Mark Scott says he will not use Flybe again after it cancelled his flight at short notice

"I've had to cancel meeting up with some friends and family.

"I've had issues with Flybe in the past and been let down by them numerous times."

He told the BBC he would not book with the airline again.

"I can't trust I'll be able to get home with them," he said.

'Follow compensation rules'

Flights from Belfast City Airport and Birmingham Airport were among those that were cancelled.

Most of the cancelled flights were within the UK.

Passengers received texts and emails on Tuesday evening telling them of the cancellations.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The cancellations come as airline enters discussions over possible job losses

The discussions about jobs are at an early stage and the company will try and avoid job losses by filling internal vacancies with existing staff, said Flybe's chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener.

The company is "engaging with all impacted crew", she told BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday.

Of the delays, she said the airline would "follow all the rules of compensation" and that "we are expecting to go back to normal operation as soon as possible".

The Unite trade union called on Flybe to be "transparent" about the company's situation.

Unite officer Peter Coulson said "Our members are justifiably concerned about their jobs and future employment, as a result of the company cancelling a number of flights for 'operational reasons' and having launched a redundancy programme."

The uncertainty was "incredibly unsettling" and was "in danger of severely damaging morale", he added.

Flights cancelled at Belfast City Airport Friday 5 April

Departures:

08:45 London City BE1353

08:45 Manchester BE473

13:05 Edinburgh BE686

Arrivals:

08:15 Manchester BE470

08:15 Edinburgh BE681

11:05 London BE1354

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