British Airways reveal thousands more job losses

Alex Cruz, British Airways' chief executive and chairman (Image: BA)
Alex Cruz, British Airways' chief executive and chairman (Image: BA)

British Airways (BA/BAW) has unveiled more details about how many job cuts in intends to make as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier today we revealed it planned to cut over 1000 pilots from the airline and now figures have emerged for Cabin Crew, Ground and Admin staff.

The figures were revealed in notices to the unions from British Airways department heads such as Amy James Head of In-Flight Customer Experience, Head of Engineering David Exon and Adam Carson, Managing Director of British Airways Gatwick.

The series of letters reveal that the airline anticipates the following job losses:

  • 3,811 Cabin Crew from its Worldwide, Eurofleet & Mixed Fleet crews.
  • 889 Supervisory Cabin Crew
  • 931 Engineering Staff
  • 1,130 Captains and Co-Pilots
  • 219 Contact Centre Staff
  • 210 Heathrow Terminal Staff

Separately, Gatwick Airport will be cutting Supervisory Cabin Crew by 79% and Non-supervisory Cabin Crew by 57%, although, according to the BBC, the head of Gatwick earlier warned that the BA base may not reopen at the airport.

An extract of the letters sent by British Airways to Unions
An extract of the letters sent by British Airways to Unions

British Airways also plans to use this opportunity to introduce a raft of new contracts with changes to pay and conditions which could result in significant pay cuts for senior staff, in particular the Worldwide & Eurofleet cabin crew members.

The letters sent to unions were almost identical save for the specific details about the changes to that particular area of the business.

The Unite Union, which represents British Airways cabin crew and ground staff said “Apparently thousands of job losses were not enough of a bad news story and so local management could also add their personal wish list of things that they felt would be a good idea to try and impose on each specific area, whilst their staff were furloughed and preoccupied with dealing with the Coronavirus crisis.

“Virtually every contract of employment, agreement, policy and working practice is to be ended for virtually everyone, 45 days from the date of the letter.”

Staff are reportedly both furious and stunned with the news, not only by the revelations but the way British Airways have handled it so far.

The Unite union has also questioned the legality of the notices as the staff are still within an agreed Redundancy Mitigation Programme.

Unite added “It was agreed with BA (ironically also on Tuesday) that this will be extended until June 30th. Obviously, it slipped management’s mind to mention that when signing an extension to a redundancy mitigation, that just a few hours later they would effectively declare the whole workforce redundant.

“As part of that programme, BA has availed itself of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, ostensibly to avoid making staff redundant. But they have not honoured that commitment or the spirit for which it was intended. In fact, it would appear that BA has simply sought to take advantage of staff being furloughed and dismiss them in their absence. Unite believes this to
be wrong, both legally and morally and intend to challenge BA on both fronts, with every resource available to us.

“We have not met with BA to discuss their plans and nor do we intend to – not until the legality of their actions is clear, the moral ambiguity of their actions holds up to scrutiny and they tell the truth to their own employees as to the full extent of their ambitions”

The job losses do not at this time include any cuts to staff at British Airways’ operations in Wales including British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (BAMC) which is being looked at separately.

Representing the Pilots, BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said: “BALPA is fighting to save every pilot job at BA. The company has declined Government support claiming it is financially secure enough to survive the coronavirus crisis, so it is hard to see how these cuts can be justified.

“There are many options to ensure BA can continue its business and survive coronavirus and BALPA does not accept that job losses are the only answer. Pilots want evidence that all options have been explored fully.”

British Airways have not responded to a request for comment.

About Nick Harding 1177 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.