The boss of British Airways has said 10,000 jobs could be lost at the airline as a result of coronavirus.
Incredibly, that might be an improvement, after the airline initially said it might need to cut up to 12,000 jobs, or about 30% of its workforce as people stay home rather than fly.
But six months on, the crisis is far from over.
BA chief executive Alex Cruz said that the public is “still afraid of travelling”, leaving the airline “still fighting for our own survival”.
Speaking to the UK’s House of Commons’ Transport Select Committee, the BA boss said the airline is operating at just a quarter of its normal schedule and “fewer flights means fewer people required to actually service them”.
He said: “As chief executive of British Airways, I have to take responsibility. I cannot ignore the situation. I had to act incredibly fast. I deeply, deeply regret that way too many loyal and hardworking colleagues of mine are having to leave our business, and I understand why MPs are concerned.”
Cruz said British Airways is burning through an average of £20million of cash a day. British Airways pilots voted in July to accept a package including job and pay cuts aimed at avoiding a larger number of redundancies.
Cruz told the committee unions representing non-pilot workers initially “decided not to engage with us”, but agreements have been reached which are being voted on by staff. The terms of the deals would involve “some amendments to the existing contracts” but “no need whatsoever to issue new contracts”, he said.
For cabin crew, the “maximum pay impact including basic pay and the majority of the allowances is 15%”, Cruz said.