As travelling abroad becomes a thing of the past – for the time being at least- several major airlines have been forced to cut services, and for the likes of easyJet, shut down completely. British Airways, on the other hand, are yet to reach an agreement with the Unite Union regarding their current position.
Although discussions have led to negotiations, a deal is yet to be signed. According to The Independent,
“British Airways is to suspend 36,000 employees. The move affects four out of five of BA’s ground staff, engineers, office workers and cabin crew.”
As a result, the airline has said that staff will not be made redundant, but will instead become part of the government’s retention scheme, in which workers will receive up to 80 per cent of their salary – given their yearly income is £30,000 or lower. Despite this though, the airline’s pilot force will have to take a 50% pay cut, with many of them earning more than £30,000 per annum.
The UK’s flagship airline which has grounded a large portion of its fleet is still running a minimal service to and from Heathrow Airport, because its bases in Gatwick and London City are no longer functioning. British Airways is one of several airlines including Virgin Atlantic and Jet2 who are running repatriation flights as part of the government’s £75m plan to repatriate hundreds of British holidaymakers currently stranded abroad.
Travel restrictions were put in place by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for an initial period of 30 days from 17th March 2020. However, as the COVID-19 situation becomes more uncertain, it is not yet known when restrictions will be lifted.