British Airways (BA) has come up with the decision to lay off up to 30% of its staff due to the uncertainty and economic loss generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The national flag carrier of the United Kingdom, however, announced a relief notice to its long-serving cabin crews giving the option to accept a 20% pay cut if they opt to work or leave the job.
Almost all the aircraft of airlines around the world are grounded due to lockdown imposed by the majority of the countries. This situation is producing heft losses for the airline companies making it difficult for them to retain staff. So, BA declared to lay off over 12,000 staff two months ago due to which huge protest came on later from the unions demanding fair decision.
Addressing the protest, BA decided to retain a long-serving cabin crew who accepts 20% cut off in their monthly salary. Cabin Crew’s salary depends highly upon the number of flight hours, allowances, and other conditions. As the number of flights won’t happen as it used to be pre-COVID, there may be salary reduction by more than 20%.
Long-serving cabin crew got the offer from BA however, there is no announcement for ground staff. British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) started organizing talks after the airline decided to lay off jobs and reduce salary.
The airline currently has three categories of cabin crew aircraft that includes the Euro Fleet, the Worldwide Fleet, and the Mixed Fleet. Due to the pandemic, the restructuring of the airline will merge all this category into one with cabin crews earning a basic of £28,000. The head of the cabin crew will receive £31,000 whereas managers will receive £38,000. As per the company’s stats, there are 14,000 cabin crews working for British Airways.
The critics have been mentioning the decision of BA to be irresponsible despite being the national flag carrier and holding superiority in the aviation industry. Transport Committee insisted that the airline was making such a decision with an aim to take advantage of the pandemic.
Most of the aircraft of BA are grounded incurring a loss of over £20million a day. In the month of May 2020, the airline conducted a total of 485 passenger flights which it used to conduct in half a day before.
BA officials said that they were trying to save the jobs of the maximum number of employees. Majority of the airlines around the world are facing huge difficulty due to Coronavirus which has weakened the global economy. Many countries are still in the lockdown phase and there are no national and international flights.
Other airlines in the UK are also in the phase of laying off staff and reducing salaries. EasyJet is set to cut off 4500 jobs, Virgin Atlantic expects 3000 job cuts whereas budget airline Ryanair informed it will cut 3000 jobs and deduct salaries by 20 percent.
Not only in the UK but the airlines around the world are compelled to either lay off or cut down salaries of their staff to sustain in the aviation industry.