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UK Bmibaby Airline Pilots Let Down As Airline Flys Final Flight
By Jim Douglas

September 10, 2012 - Bmibaby takes last flight on Sunday, September 9. The carrier was a British low cost airline that flew to destinations in the UK and Europe from its bases at Birmingham and East Midlands airports.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has pledged to continue to fight to protect and promote the interests of its loyal pilots. 

Following the takeover of BMI and its subsidiaries by IAG in April 2012, it was announced on May 3, 2012 that Bmibaby would be shut down in September 2012, with many flights ceasing to operate with effect from June 11.  


BALPA’s General Secretary, Jim McAuslan, commented; ‘Today our thoughts are with all the dedicated bmi baby pilots and staff who worked to make the airline a success over many years and who are now struggling to find employment.  But although the last flights may have taken off, BALPA will continue to support our members to ensure they get justice and find good quality jobs as soon as possible.  

‘Pilots are not to blame for this closure and have continued to operate professionally and safely with the threat of redundancy looming. But they have been badly let down on many fronts.  Employees are now left as the ones “holding the baby”. 

‘Lufthansa has let pilots down by keeping us at arm’s length from would-be buyers, pressing us to accept cuts in pay and conditions with the false hope of a promising future, and even accepting training payments from pilots joining the company earlier this year. 

‘The new management is letting pilots down, and although BA always made it clear that bmi baby did not fit into their business plan and would be closed, it has taken an extremely parsimonious approach to redundancy payments, done nowhere near enough to provide people with a future in British Airways itself, and even refused to write off the training bonds provided by new pilots. We have recently met the BA Chief Executive and hope that our description of the plight these pilots are facing may mean a change of stance. 



‘And Government has let pilots down. Pilots being made redundant, many mid-career, will find it very difficult to find alternative employment; it is not the sort of job you will find advertised at the Job Centre.  The Government has not lifted one finger to help. BALPA has sought support from Government and made a number of suggestions to Ministers in the Department of Work and Pensions and at Vince Cable’s BIS Department. The response has been poor, with not even an acknowledgment from BIS. 

‘But BALPA will not let pilots down and although the airline stops flying today [Sunday] we will continue to challenge British Airways and the Government to up their games using all means – including legal action – at our disposal.  We will also be helping pilots into other jobs and keeping them in touch with industry developments.’
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