Threat to 158 jobs in bmibaby shake-up

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A total of 158 staff at low-fare airline bmibaby face losing their jobs under restructuring plans announced by the carrier today.

The airline said 54 pilot and 82 cabin crew positions at Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff Airports were "at risk of redundancy", as were 22 management and support positions.

Bmibaby also announced that it was reducing the number of aircraft in its fleet from 17 to 12 next year.

But bmibaby did say that the restructuring would lead to additional services at East Midlands Airport next year and the creation of 10 pilot and 15 cabin crew positions.

Bmibaby managing director Crawford Rix said: "Since our launch we have established ourselves as a leading player in the low-cost airline market. However the aviation industry is facing its toughest time ever.

"It is experiencing record losses and remedial action has to be taken. We are no exception to this.

"We have to focus our efforts and activities on routes and services that we believe are the best fit for our business.

"We believe that having identified and by concentrating on the core business areas and reinforcing our efforts, we can ensure that bmibaby continues to provide its customers with the best possible competitive fares as well as an attractive range of business and leisure products."

The carrier today started discussions with staff and union representatives "with a view to minimising job losses wherever possible".