British Airways to suspend staff amid coronavirus

British Airways to suspend staff amid coronavirus

The UK airline, which has postponed most of its flights due to a coronavirus pandemic, is expected to suspend more than 36,000 workers. The airline has been in dialogues with the Unite Union for more than a week and has reached a comprehensive agreement, but due to some details, it has not yet been signed.

However, if it could be signed, it means that up to 80% of the BA staff, which includes cabin crew, engineers, ground staff and headquarters staff, will lose their jobs.

The airline has discontinued operations at Gatwick Airport and London Airport amid this pandemic, affecting all employees at the locations.

But this week, the airline operated following government return flights to access those locked in Peru.

In the meantime, those affected will receive part of their wages through the state’s coronavirus job retention program, which provides up to 80% of a person’s salary, limited to a maximum of £ 2,500 per month.

This is not a surprise for British workers. They should be expecting the announcement. If the aircraft is just sitting on the ground and almost all flights are suspended and are only carried out at local airports, BA does not need a mass of workers who have flown the aircraft, serviced, loaded and unloaded them and waited for the passengers.

As a rule, the staff in every airline account for about 40% of the costs. For BA, some of its workers will be suspended after claiming 80% of the wages from the government support program that was put in place to help businesses affected by the virus. However, the BA has so far not applied for government funding support.

Independent aviation analyst John Strickland said the tough negotiations between BA and Unite Union meant that it could take a while to reach an agreement. He added that the pilot contract, which pays half the wages, has already been concluded.

In other words, it is believed that the United States has pushed for staff to pay more than that. For BA, however, they have a separate agreement with their pilots who have accepted 50% wages for the next two months.

The International Airlines Group (IAG), the mother of BA, is not facing major financial challenges and is in good shape than most of its competitors. This is the case after the group has made healthy profits in recent years.

The BA anticipated the suspension of employees and this projects how much British aviation would be hit by this COVID-19, which was forced to restrict travel to curb its spread. The airline has canceled all future flight bookings and has lost cash since the virus broke out in the UK a few weeks ago.

The International Air Transport Association predicted that airlines will suffer losses of nearly $ 40 billion in the next three months. The association also said the airlines are now burning their cash reserves at a high rate to refund the canceled bookings.

Elsewhere, many Virgin Atlantic employees have suspended their work for two months. Besides, the EasyJet crews have also been put out of work for three months.

Archie Fowler was born and raised in Cleveland. As a Reporter, Archie has contributed to several online publications including City Visitor Publications and Quantum Grafix. In regards to academics, Archie has got a Post Graduation Degree in Department Of Business from Cleveland State University. As a Reporter for Chroniclex Archie Covers World Topics.

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