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BA pilots set for pay cut as airlines slump

BRITISH AIRWAYS&rsquo; (BA) pilots will vote this week on whether to take a voluntary pay cut, after the airline&rsquo;s chief executive Willie Walsh said it was in a &ldquo;fight for survival&rdquo;.<br /><br />The carrier, which has reported record losses, said yesterday that union talks would &ldquo;step up&rdquo; this week, as pilots are balloted on how BA can cut costs.<br /><br />It is understood that a small pay cut will be decided on by the end of the week, as pilot&rsquo;s union BALPA meets with BA.<br /><br />The news comes after the airline last week admitted all options remained open on its pension deficit scheme, boosting fears it would close its final salary scheme to its 100,000 members.<br /><br />It has one of the largest pension deficits of the UK&rsquo;s blue chips. Its shortfall is an estimated &pound;3bn.<br /><br />For the year to March 2009, BA posted losses of &pound;401m, and scrapped its dividend. Walsh and finance director Keith Williams, said they would forgo their July salary.