British Airways owner IAG expects to make a quarter of its pilots redundant as part of a scheme that could axe 12,000 jobs.
The airline said it will reduce its pilot headcount by 955 for what it termed “volume adjustment” and a further 175 it pinned on “efficiency changes”.
That would cull 1,130 pilots out of a total of 4,346, according to a letter seen by Sky News.
Cuits will be split between captains and co-pilots, the letter read, while all flights may be suspended from Heathrow Airport for the foreseeable future.
It comes after British Airways owner IAG earlier this week announced plans to make up to 12,000 staff redundant as it faces pressure from coronavirus lockdowns.
“The impact on British Airways and the industry in general is like no other previous crisis we have gone through before,” bosses wrote in the letter seen by Sky News.
“We are now at a critical juncture and must table proposals for structural change so that our business is in a credible position to respond to what will be a challenging and uncertain trading environment for a sustained period of time.”
“At this stage, it is anticipated that the headcount reduction resulting from volume adjustment will be 955,” the letter states.
“It is anticipated that the headcount reduction resulting from efficiency changes will be 175.”
But British Airways bosses also warned the situation could get even worse for pilots.
IAG will seek to overhaul BA policies in many ways that will impact pilots.
British Airways will introduce policies to “ensure our remaining operation is efficient, flexible and cost-competitive”. It will make changes “to enable us to survive in an increasingly lean and unpredictable industry”.
Those changes will include adding more “flexibility” into rostering, scheduling and operations.
IAG will now engage with pilots’ union Balpa over the British Airways proposals. The union has already voiced its anger at the scale of the previously announced 12,000 job cuts.
But BA reiterated that it has not ruled out stopping all flights out of Heathrow over coronavirus. Easyjet has grounded its entire fleet for the foreseeable future and Virgin Atlantic has stopped passenger flights.
British Airways owner IAG will now begin a 45-day consultation on the pilot job cuts.
More to follow.