British Airways seeks voluntary departures for 400 high-ranking cabin crew

Skift Take

The announcement seems light in comparison to IAG’s plans to cut thousands of jobs at Iberia and the involuntary cuts being doled out at Air France and Lufthansa.

— Samantha Shankman

British Airways said it’s seeking voluntary departures among 2,338 senior cabin crew based at London’s Heathrow airport to address “an imbalance” in numbers.

Applicants are being sought among pursers working in the carrier’s global fleet, known as Worldwide, which operates long- haul services. They’re also being targeted among pursers and cabin service directors — the highest-ranked flight attendant position — in the Eurofleet, which provides short-haul flights.

“Based on the feedback from our senior cabin crew in the past few months, we believe that there will be good demand for this opportunity,” British Airways said today in e-mail, without specifying how many posts it aims to eliminate.

Willie Walsh, chief executive officer at parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, is seeking to cut senior cabin crew two years after riding out a strike to push through lower pay for new recruits. BA said it has begun a 90- day consultation with the Unite union on the measures, which the Sun newspaper reported earlier could result in 400 jobs losses.

Walsh is seeking deeper cuts at BA’s unprofitable sister carrier Iberia, where it aims to scrap 4,500 posts, or more than one-fifth of the total. Spanish crews are planning a six-day strike before Christmas as part of a protest against the losses.

Among other European carriers, Air France-KLM Group, the regional No. 1, plans to eliminate 1,300 positions at its Dutch unit in addition to 5,000 already being cut at the larger French business. Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG is scrapping 3,500 administrative posts and as many as 1,000 catering jobs.

Editors: Chris Jasper and Chad Thomas. To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at [email protected]

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