This reported "fire and rehire" strategy will give the airline more flexibility, but the rift between unions and British Airways will only get wider now.
British Airways, which has said it needs to cut 12,000 jobs and proposed pay cuts for cabin crew, has reached a deal with its pilots that will see 350 laid off and another 300 put in a “pool” for rehiring when needed, The Sun on Sunday reported.
Captains and first officers placed in the pool do not currently have an aircraft to operate and will remain on half-pay, the report said, while all other operating flight crew will take a 15 percent pay cut.
Once “pooled” pilots return, operating flight crew members will get 7.5 percent of their deducted pay back, while the rest of the pay cut will be lost, the report added.
The majority of pilots being “pooled” will be Boeing 747 jumbo jet first officers.
British Airways, owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, said in an emailed statement that “constructive talks are ongoing with (UK pilots union) BALPA to save as many jobs as possible.”
BALPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters reported last week that British Airways has made a proposal to its cabin crew on pay cuts. The airline plans to lay off a quarter of its pilots.
Planes were grounded in March by lockdowns to curb the coronavirus pandemic, tipping the industry into crisis.
(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch
Photo credit: The Sun on Sunday has reported hundreds of pilots are to be laid off, while others will wait on reduced pay to be rehired when needed. Isaac Struna / Unsplash