'No certainty' of British Airways flights returning to Gatwick Airport after coronavirus crisis

Credit: PA

British Airways bosses have warned staff there is "no certainty" of the airline returning to Gatwick Airport after the coronavirus pandemic.

In a message to employees, British Airways' Managing Director of Gatwick, Adam Carson said: "We suspended our Gatwick flying schedule at the start of April and there is no certainty as to when or if these services can or will return."

It comes after the airline announced it is set to make up to 12,000 workers redundant amid travel restrictions enforced by the Covid-19 lockdown.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills described the restructuring process at the airline as a "brutal process" citing the 5,849 "cabin crew at Gatwick and Heathrow" set to be laid off.

It is reported the 10,294 cabin crew who remain will be expected to accept new contracts with "harmonised pay" and "temporary layoff" clauses - or risk being dismissed.

Joel Hills reports planned redundancies at Gatwick will hit even harder, with 57% cabin crew roles being let go and and 79% of crew supervisors.

On Tuesday, BA's parent company IAG announced the airline planned to make up to 12,000 of its 42,000 workers redundant.

Like many other airlines worldwide, the company has suffered from the global collapse in passenger numbers caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the plans, IAG said: "The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them."

In a letter sent to staff, BA's CEO Alex Cruz said: "What we are facing as an airline, like so many other businesses up and down the country, is that there is no ‘normal’ any longer.  "

Mr Cruz told staff: "Our very limited flying schedule means that revenues are not coming into our business."

He added: "We do not know when countries will reopen their borders or when the lockdowns will lift, and so we have to reimagine and reshape our airline and create a new future for our people, our customers and the destinations we serve. 

"We have informed the Government and the Trade Unions of our proposals to consult over a number of changes, including possible reductions in headcount."

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