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North Sea pilot jobs under threat at Bristow Helicopters

Aberdeen accounts for eight of the positions, while another four could go in Norwich.

Bristow: Pilot jobs at risk (file pic).
Bristow: Pilot jobs at risk (file pic). CC by Alec Wilson

North Sea helicopter firm Bristow has announced plans to cut 12 pilot jobs.

Aberdeen accounts for eight of the positions, while another four could go in Norwich.

Bristow recently announced plans to cut 12 engineering jobs between Shetland and Aberdeen.

The company said the oil and gas downturn has reduced demand from clients.

Bristow hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies but pilots' union Balpa described the situation as a "terrible blow".

A spokesman said Bristow said: "We are in early consultations with Balpa and are keen to mitigate the effect of these reductions, with the hope that we can avoid the need for any redundancies.

"These options include potential reduced hours and part-time working, as well as voluntary severance.

"We will over the coming weeks meet with all of our team members and continue dialogue with the union, to discuss the options available."

Balpa said it had agreed to explore alternatives to redundancies with Bristow.

'The UK helicopter community has had to endure round after round of redundancies in the last few years.'
Balpa spokesman

"The UK helicopter community has had to endure round after round of redundancies in the last few years," a spokesman said.

"This latest announcement by Bristow Helicopters of the loss of eight pilots in Shetland and four in Norwich is another terrible blow.

"Balpa is doing all it can to save as many jobs as possible and to protect the people for whom this is a personal tragedy."

He added: "Balpa representatives have already begun a period of consultation with the company. 

"We have been able to agree to explore options for part-time working that could reduce the need to let people go and to seek volunteers for redundancy.

"We are focusing on supporting the Bristow helicopter community, protecting as many jobs as possible and working to ensure flight safety is not jeopardised."

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