The gloomy start to the employment market has continued on Wednesday after regional airline Flybe announced it was seeking to cut 300 jobs as part of an ongoing initiative to restore the airline to profitability.

The Exeter-based airline said the cuts would reduce UK staff numbers by 10%, with a 20% reduction in management posts and a 10% reduction from overhead and production roles, in a move expected to save the airline £35 million.

Other cost cutting measures include implementing new plans with airports and maintenance providers, rolling out fuel efficiency programmes and expanding automation at the check-in process.

The decision is thought to be driven by Flybe reporting a loss of £1.3m in the six months to 30 September, a fall from its £14.3m profit the airline reported just a year earlier.

The airline said consultation with affected staff and their trade unions would start immediately.

"I am extremely disappointed that many valued and hard-working colleagues may have to leave the organisation," said Flybe chairman and chief executive Jim French in a statement.

"We will make every effort to minimise the impact and to offer support wherever possible in the transition."