British Airways lays off up to 12,000 staff

Linda J. Dodson

British Airways is set to make up to 12,000 workers redundant, owner IAG said on Tuesday.

The company revealed the shock move in its first quarter results, released after the stock market closed in an unscheduled announcement.

IAG slumped to an operating result before exceptional items of €535m (£459m) compared to a profit of €135m for the first three months of last year. Revenue declined by 13pc to €4.6bn. 

“In light of the impact of Covid-19 on current operations and the expectation that the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years, British Airways is formally notifying its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy programme. The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them,” the company said.

IAG said profits were wiped out by a €1.3bn charge for fuel and foreign currency hedging following the collapse in oil prices in recent weeks.

The redundancies comes a day after the airline industry warned of immeasurable damage if ministers press ahead with plans to quarantine travellers for 14 days after they arrive at British airports.

It is feared that harsh new measures to confine passengers at home or a hotel for a fortnight will wreck international travel and hammer consumer confidence at a time when many carriers are already close to collapse.

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