Palmair to return leased jet in bid to cut costs

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Palmair's aeroplane
Image caption,
Palmair's jet will be handed back to the leasing company

A Dorset-based tour operator has announced it is getting rid of its only jet in a bid to save money.

Palmair's managing director David Skillicorn said the move would not mean redundancies.

He said the firm, which offers holidays flying from Bournemouth and employs 25 people, had already announced a reduced service this winter.

The Boeing 737-500 will make its last flight on Saturday and then be returned to the leasing company.

Palmair has been operating from Bournemouth Airport since 1958 and Mr Skillicorn said the move was necessary to secure its long term future.

"We're not immune to what's going on around us - the airline industry has had a totally horrible, miserable year," he said.

"As a small business we've got to look very long and hard at the future and how we're going to secure our future and maybe reshape our business based on the actual demand there is today.

"People's habits and tastes do change. We have seen our cruising business for next year rocket by 11%."

New £45m terminal

Passengers who have booked a holiday with Palmair will now be chartered onto another airline.

In July Ryanair announced it had suspended winter flights in and out of Bournemouth Airport - just months after a new £45m terminal opened.

A month later Palmair followed Ryanair's decision and stopped all services in November, December and January.

The airport has said other airlines will still operate over the winter and there was still "plenty of business".

Bournemouth Airport's new terminal was unveiled in June, despite falling passenger numbers.

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