Thomas Cook is putting 430 jobs under consultation as it cuts its UK fleet from 35 to 31 aircraft as part of a series of cost-saving measures.

The group is returning four aircraft to the lessors at the end of their lease term. One aircraft has already been returned, a second lease expires at the end of October and the other two at the end of March. Three aircraft are Boeing 757s used for short haul flying and one is used for long-haul flights.

A 90 day consultation with staff begins today. A statement said: “As always in such situations we will work openly with our colleagues and their representatives to support them throughout the process.

“This proposal is a further indication of the group’s commitment to strengthening the overall financial performance of our UK operation as we look to the future.”

Christoph Debus, group head of air travel, said:  “This is a very difficult decision, but necessary to deliver a successful transformation and build a sustainable business for the future, which will continue to offer opportunities for the 2700 people employed with us after these proposed changes.”

Europe’s second largest travel group has already announced the planned sale and leaseback of six of its aircraft fleet and the disposal of five Spanish hotels as part of its turnaround strategy.