BELEAGUERED British Airways yesterday said 1,000 of its cabin staff have agreed to take voluntary redundancy, with another 3,000 moving from full-time to part-time work – the equivalent of 1,700 full-time job cuts.
The carrier has been on a massive cost-cutting drive to return to profitability, with chief executive Willie Walsh and finance director Keith Williams both working unpaid in July, and temporary staff being axed earlier this year.
“BA is currently not profitable and we expect to record a significant loss for the second consecutive year – the first time that has happened in our history,” the airline said.
The news came as the group warned it may be forced to cut short haul flights at Heathrow if the Tories’ plans to scrap expansion at the hub go ahead.
Aviation body BAA joined BA in condemning the Conservatives’ plans, saying to scrap the project would be bad for business and the struggling economy.
BAA added that UK companies would lose a total of £1bn for each year a third runway was delayed.
Meanwhile, the Tories used their party conference to reiterate their stance on a new runway at the airport, which was given the go-ahead by Labour in January this year.
“We are absolutely firm on our opposition to expansion,” shadow transport minister Julian Brazier said.
Tory transport spokeswoman Theresa Villiers said in late September that the party would instead opt for a £20bn high speed rail line between London and northern England.