A call has been made by BALPA (The British Airline Pilots’ Association) for the government to hold a summit on North Sea jobs.
The plea comes after Bristow launched a consultation with staff over 130 positions.
Bristow Helicopters told staff the global decline in oil price has prompted the decision, with up to 66 helicopter pilots and 64 other workers likely to be made redundant.
BALPA has now entered into a consultation period with the company and said it would do all it can to “save as many jobs as possible”.
General Secretary Jim McAuslan described the decision as “devastating news” and said the body would be doing all it could to support the pilots affected.
He said: “This announcement reflects the collapse in the oil price and its impact on North Sea industry. Pilots want to see that industry thrive again and ensure when it does, we have the skilled pilots and other workers available. We must now make certain that businesses all the way down the supply chain are not squeezed by the big oil and gas companies.
“The government needs to nurse the industry through this downturn so skills are not lost when the situation improves. BALPA is calling for a jobs summit with the Treasury, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Scottish Government and the Department for Transport to take stock of the situation. This loss of experience is a major threat to the UK industry as well as a personal catastrophe for the individuals concerned.
“BALPA will do all it can to protect pilots who are feeling the brunt of the downturn in the North Sea oil industry.”
Offshore union boss Jake Molloy said lay-offs at Bristow were “desperately sad”, but were also “inevitable” given the thousands of jobs cut already in the North Sea.