BA could operate as little as 40% of network this winter

British Airways Airbus A380-800 G-XLEC (Image: Max Thrust Digital)
British Airways Airbus A380-800 G-XLEC (Image: Max Thrust Digital)

British Airways (BA/BAW) had planned to operate around 54% of its normal network between October and December this year but it has revealed that a “levelling-off” in bookings could see that fall to just 40%.

Like all airlines British Airways has been badly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic and is in somewhat of a recovery phase as people return to flying again but with uncertainty over quarantine, that number of people booking appears to have peaked.

The airline is facing further turmoil as Coronavirus cases are sharply rising again.

Cut price share issue

The news comes as British Airways’ parent, International Airlines Group (IAG), announced it’s issuing a cut-price rights issues in a bid to raise around £2.5bn in capital. IAG will issue 2.98bn new shares at a price of €0.92 per share, which equates to a 35.9% discount.

The move was approved at IAG’s recent annucal meeting and Qatar Airways (QR/QTR), had agreed to take up its 25.1% allocation of shares.

Outgoing IAG CEO Willie Walsh (Image: IAG)
Outgoing IAG CEO Willie Walsh (Image: IAG)

The same meeting also saw a shareholder rebellion over the bonus for outgoing CEO Willie Walsh, over 20% of shareholders voted to reject the remuneration report, which included an £883,000 bonus for Walsh.

Whilst largely symbolic, the report was passed anyway, it was enough to get IAG onto the blacklist for companies that have faced a shareholder rebellion.

Agreement with Unite

British Airways has also said it has reached an “agreement in principle” with Unite, which represents Cabin Crew, Ground Staff and Engineers, over pay cuts and job losses which will see around 13,000 staff leave the airline.

Over 8,000 have already left by taking voluntary redundancy.

Staff that remain with the airline will be forced to sign new contracts which in many cases lowers pay and changes the terms and conditions.

BA Betrayal on Marble Arch
BA Betrayal on Marble Arch

Both sides of the table have come under fire for their actions, BA for the “fire and rehire” policy and Unite for simply refusing to engage with the airline and adopting instead to launch the “BA Betrayal” Campaign. The details of the agreement are not yet known.

About Nick Harding 1945 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.