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BA ground staff face an uncertain future

12.11.06

British Airways staff in Scotland expect to hear of heavy job cuts this week following the sale of the airlines regional flights arm, BA Connect, to low-cost rival Flybe. The airline said the sale would have a 'significant impact on BA ground handling activities' and it is feared that as many as 150 of the airlines 434 Scottish staff could be axed. Manchester's 300 ground staff are also affected and its cabin crew base will close.

The airline announced that it had agreed to sell its loss-making subsidiary to Flybe last week after declaring that it no longer sat comfortably in its strategy. Without significant investment it was unlikely to become profitable. It lost £20m in the last financial year and £6m in the first half of this year.

Most of BA Connects 1,900 staff are expected to transfer over to the new owner. However baggage handlers, check-in assistants and administration workers are all likely to be affected by the expected cuts.

BA Connect represents 53% of BA's Edinburgh flights, 35% of those going through Glasgow Airport and 25% in Aberdeen. The Edinburgh figure is inflated as it includes London City flights which will be retained by BA. A senior BA manager will meet staff at the three Scottish airports this week and it is expected that jobs will go by the time the handover of BA Connect goes through next March.

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