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BA Connect: rumours of job loss announcements are false 17 November 2006

The Department of Trade and Industry is aware of rumours that job losses have been announced at the Ronaldsway facility of BA Connect. The Department can confirm these rumours are false.

Flybe is in talks with BA to acquire BA Connect. A period of due diligence is underway currently. The Department has been assured by Flybe that the acquisition remains on target for completion by 1 January 2007 and that no decisions have been taken to date concerning the facilities and jobs of BA Connect in the Isle of Man. Flybe have announced that the company’s principal engineering base will be in Exeter, but a range of options are under review for the Ronaldsway engineering base.

Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Alex Downie stated: “I became aware of the rumours (claiming redundancies had been announced) and media reports earlier today. I immediately contacted Mr Jim French, Chairman and Chief Executive of Flybe. Mr French re-affirmed that no decisions have been taken regarding the long-term future of the BA Connect facilities and jobs in the Isle of Man. He confirmed that a range of options are being examined to minimise the impact at Ronaldsway. I know that BA Connect has established a first-class team here on the Isle of Man. My Department is working closely with Flybe and BA Connect to consider options and arrive at solutions to give a sustainable future for this team. I am also working closely with the trades unions, whom I had a productive meeting with this morning. I believe premature speculation such as this will only serve to heighten the fears of staff and damage morale. We must remain calm and work closely together for the benefit of the affected individuals, their families and the Isle of Man. ”

For further information contact:

Mr Alex Downie, Minister for Trade and Industry, tel: 682350, email alex.downie@gov.im

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