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COVID19: BRITISH AIRWAYS TO SUSPEND 36,000 WORKERS

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British Airways is expected to announce it will suspend around 36,000 of its 45,000 staff due to the COVID19 crisis.

The airline has reached a broad deal with the Unite union that will include the suspension of 80 per cent of its cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and those working at head office.

According to sources, no staff are expected to be made redundant as a result of the deal, which came after ten days of intense talks, according to the BBC. 

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Those affected are expected to receive some of their wages through the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which covers 80% of someone’s salary capped at a maximum of £2,500 a month.

With future bookings cancelled for the foreseeable future, airlines have been haemorrhaging cash.

Over the next three months, the International Air Transport Association expects airlines to rack up losses of almost $40bn (£32.3bn). It said carriers were burning through their cash reserves fast, mainly because of the multi-billion-pound cost of refunding tickets for cancelled flights.

Many staff at Virgin Atlantic have had their jobs suspended for two months and crews at Easyjet are out of work for three months.

This week, British Airways has run government repatriation flights to get hundreds of British nationals home from Peru, after the country went into lockdown.

It is one of several UK-based airlines that has agreed to run further repatriation flights in the coming weeks as hundreds of thousands of people are still stuck in other parts of the world.

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