Pilots at British airline British Airways (BA) have approved a plan for temporary wage cuts of 20% to limit layoffs to 270, the pilots’ union (Balpa) said.
“Our members took a pragmatic decision under the circumstances, but the fact that we failed to persuade BA to avoid any forced dismissal is a bitter disappointment,” said the secretary general of Balpa.
British Airways, which employs 4,300 pilots, initially planned to lay off 1,255 of them and lay off and then rehire the others on less favorable terms.
The subsidiary of the Hispano-British group IAG warned at the end of April that it was planning a total of laying off 12,000 people, 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.
Air transport is one of the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. BA’s British rivals like Easyjet, Virgin Atlantic and Irish company Ryanair have also announced the abolition of thousands of jobs.
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.