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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 January 2020

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

Flybe, photo Aero Pixels/CC

Flybe, photo Aero Pixels/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones

Troubled Airline Flybe - which provides domestic flights in the UK - has been saved for now. The airline connects about eight million passengers a year from airports in the UK's major cities to isolated communities in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Cornwall and also Europe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will cut air passenger duty on domestic flights as part of a plan to save the airline from collapse. By applying the move to the whole industry, the government would avoid breaching EU state aid rules.

He said it was "not for government" to step in and save companies that run into trouble.

But government stepping in and nationalising Flybe and other companies to save jobs and services is exactly what it should be doing! And the government should ignore the EU's state aid rules to do so.

Boris has claimed that, in his opinion, Brexit means the UK won't be bound by the anti-nationalisation rules anymore. So let's get nationalisation done!

The reality is that Boris doesn't want to leave his big business mates who own Flybe out of pocket. Flybe is owned by Virgin and its consortium partners Stobart Air, plus US investment firm Cyrus Capital.

They bought the airline less than a year ago amid much fanfare and promises of a 100-million investment. Where is this money now?

Flybe should be taken out of the hands of the profit makers who can't be trusted with our jobs and services - and government subsidies which some routes receive! It should be run under democratic workers' control and management as part of an integrated, expanded transport system including affordable rail services - a democratically planned system that could save jobs, connections to remote areas of the UK as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Virgin and co should not be given a free ride and tax cuts should not be used to bail out Flybe. Nationalisation is the answer.

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In The Socialist 15 January 2020:


What we think

Labour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

Labour leadership race: Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer


News

Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Build for strikes to save NHS

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

Them & Us


Workplace news

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

PCS: Time to rebuild the left

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

London bus drivers ballot to strike

Union lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line


Campaigns

We need socialists in London's City Hall

Stop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays 64 million fossil-fuel investments

Socialist Party national committee meeting


International socialist news and analysis

Renewed protests shake Iranian leaders

France: Strike wave over pensions - Macron government in retreat


Readers' opinion

Sustainable food production and the need for socialism

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Aid:

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