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LOYAL bmibaby staff are ‘devastated’ after the ten year-old airline, based at Birmingham and East Midlands airports, had its final flight last week.

Around 450 employees were made redundant after bmibaby’s new owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), shut the budget airline on September 10.

Around 450 employees were made redundant after bmibaby’s new owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), shut the budget airline on September 10.

Former cabin manager Maggie Moss, aged 53, from Solihull, was flying for 21 years before losing her job.

“If only people knew how much devastation this had caused,” she said.

“We really were loyal to the company. When all the planes flew off to Norwich, we all came to watch them.

“There were a lot of tears.”

IAG, owner of British Airways, bought bmi in April but said it had no intention of continuing subsidiaries bmibaby and bmi regional itself.

Bmi regional was sold in June but attempts to find a new owner for bmibaby were unsuccessful.

“They kept giving us hope,” Maggie added. “All they kept telling us was ‘you’ll hear in two weeks.’

“We’re starting to wonder if that was to stop us leaving so they weren’t short staffed over the summer.”

Flight crew Sandra Ellis, aged 48, also from Solihull, had been at bmi Baby five-and-a-half-years.

“It’s been swept under the rug,” she said.

“Passengers were shocked when we told them we were losing our jobs. They all thought we were turning into BA.”

“It feels as though bmibaby staff are being treated as second class citizens,” Maggie added.

“Honestly, if they knew how hard we worked, they’d have a shock.

“Only about 15 per cent of people have got jobs, and some of those are at Aldi and places. There’s just not that many aviation jobs going.

“A lot of us are sitting here watching Jeremy Kyle.”

Solihull MP Lorely Burt said she was ‘disappointed’ with the effort made to support staff and would be writing to the company while a spokesperson for Birmingham Airport, said they were ‘saddened and disappointed’ to say goodbye to bmibaby.

“Our thoughts are with the loyal and hard-working staff who are affected by the closure.”

A bmibaby spokesperson said they had worked hard to provide ‘alternative opportunities’ for staff.

“All bmibaby employees also had the opportunity to apply for suitable vacant jobs within British Airways as an alternative to redundancy.”

 

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