British Airways airline pilots have approved a plan for temporary wage cuts of 20% to limit dry layoffs to 270, according to the pilots' union (Balpa).
Its members voted 85% in favor of the plan, as the airline industry collapses due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It provides, in addition to 270 job cuts, wage cuts of 20%, which must be reduced to 8% in two years, before a return to the initial level in the longer term.
" Our members took a pragmatic decision under the circumstances, but it is a bitter disappointment that we failed to persuade BA to avoid any forced dismissal ," said the secretary general of the Balpa (British Airline Pilots Association), Brian Strutton.
The company, which employs 4,300 pilots, initially planned to lay off 1,255 of them and then re-hire other pilots, but on less favorable terms. The subsidiary of the IAG group had warned at the end of April that it was planning to lay off 12,000 people in total, or a quarter of its workforce.
“ It is an incredibly difficult time for everyone at British Airways and we are grateful to Balpa and our teams for the work they have done to secure this deal and save hundreds of jobs, ” said a company spokesperson. British Airways, which faced the threat of a strike a few days ago, does not expect to return to the level of activity it was before the crisis before 2023.
Air transport is one of the sectors hit hardest by the novel coronavirus pandemic and the physical distancing measures to contain it, which have resulted in a sudden stop of travel and especially air travel.
British BA rivals like Easyjet, Virgin Atlantic and Irish Ryanair have also announced the elimination of thousands of jobs and according to a study, 70,000 jobs are threatened in the next three months in the sector in the United Kingdom.