International Consolidated Airlines Group agrees to reduced number of pilot job

Pilots union BALPA has opened a consultation among its 4,300 BA pilots on proposals that include immediate pay cuts of 20%

’s () British Airways has agreed a reduced number of redundancies of its pilots but with reduced pay and more part-time work for those that remain.

BA pilots will hold a consultation on whether to accept restructuring proposals that involve reduced pay for at least three years and a number of compulsory redundancies.

READ: British Airways retires fleet of Jumbo jets early due to coronavirus impact

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has opened a consultative ballot among its 4,300 BA pilots on proposals that include pay cuts of 20% this year that will ease to an 8% cut over the next two years and back to normal after several more.

The package that has been agreed between the union and the airline will not see a ‘fire and rehire’ of pilots but there will be 270 compulsory redundancies, while the number of pilots shrinks to a ‘holding pool’ of the equivalent of 300 pilots employed on reduced pay and ready to return to flying as demand picks up.

Key elements of the proposed package for this group is “voluntary part time working, voluntary severance, voluntary external secondments”.

With parent IAG reporting a cash burn of £178mln per week, BA had originally proposed to make up to 1,255 pilots redundant.

The union said it was recommending its members accept the proposals “as the best that can be achieved in these incredibly difficult circumstances”.

Brian Strutton, BALPA general secretary, said: “It is hugely disappointing that during our extensive negotiations British Airways would not accept the full package of mitigations we put forward which would have avoided any job losses at all, and at no cost to BA. 

“As a result there will be some compulsory redundancies amongst the pilot community and that is a matter of huge regret. Given BA’s intransigence we have put together the best package we can to save as many jobs as possible.”

IAG welcomed the announcement and, with the ballot due to close on July 31, said it will provide a further update at that time.

Shares in the Anglo-Iberian airline group were down more than 1% to 211.9p in early trading on Thursday.

Analysts at broker Peel Hunt said: “Discussions with ground and cabin crew are expected to conclude soon as well as the group scales down to meet the collapse in demand for air travel, particularly long haul, the retirement of the B747 and likely reduced service life of the A380.”

The analysts reiterated their view that IAG is likely to need to raise extra funds from issuing equity capital.

Read MoreInternational Consolidated Airlines Group agrees to reduced number of pilot job

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