BA staff find out whether they will lose their jobs

Thousands of British Airways workers are finding out whether they will be made redundant. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Thousands of British Airways workers are finding out whether they will be made redundant.

Cabin crew, engineers and airport staff are among those receiving letters from Friday revealing what their future at the airline will be.

Many of those who keep their jobs face pay cuts.

The airline insists it is trying to “protect as many jobs as possible”.

It said more than 6,000 workers have applied for voluntary redundancy.

British Airways’ owner IAG announced in April that it would cut up to 12,000 jobs out of a total of 42,000 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The PA news agency understands that around 40% of cabin crew, generally those at the lower end of the pay scale, will receive a small increase in their salary.

Others will see their basic pay cut by 20%, although many claim their total earnings will be reduced by as much as 50% due to other changes to the terms and conditions of their jobs.

Trade union Unite, which represents thousands of British Airways staff including cabin crew and engineers, has accused the airline of “industrial thuggery”.

A report published by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee described the airline’s treatment of its workers as “a national disgrace”.

British Airways said more than 6,000 workers applied for voluntary redundancy. Credit: PA Images

Pilots have voted to accept a package including job and pay cuts aimed at avoiding a larger number of redundancies.

Their union Balpa said there will be around 270 compulsory redundancies and temporary pay cuts starting at 20% and reducing to 8% over two years – before falling to zero over the longer term.

Unite said it would accept the same deal if it was available, but British Airways says Unite and another union, GMB, failed to attend consultation meetings held during the past three months.

British Airways is operating less than 20% of its schedule due to the drop in demand and travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It does not expect demand for air travel to return to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023.

IAG announced last week that it made a pre-tax loss of 4.2 billion euro (£3.8 billion) in the first six months of the year.

British Airways said in a statement: “Our half year results, published last week, clearly show the enormous financial impact of Covid-19 on our business.

“We are having to make difficult decisions and take every possible action now to protect as many jobs as possible.

“And, while we never could have anticipated being in a position of making redundancies, more than 6,000 of our colleagues have now indicated that they wish to take voluntary redundancy from BA.”