British Airways expected to suspend 36,000 staff

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London: British Airways (BA) is expected to announce the suspension of around 36,000 staff members after the UK flag carrier grounded much of its fleet due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Thursday.

Thursday’s development comes after the airline has been negotiating with the Unite union for more than a week, a BBC report said, adding that the two sides have reached a broad deal but were yet to sign on some details.

The agreement means that up to 80 per cent of BA cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and those working at head office will have their jobs suspended but no staff are expected to be made redundant.

The decision will affect all staff at Gatwick and London City Airport after the airline suspended its operations at both locations until the crisis was over.

Those affected were expected to receive some of their wages through the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which covers 80 per cent of someone’s salary capped at a maximum of 2,500 pounds a month.

Meanwhile, many staff at Virgin Atlantic have already had their jobs suspended for two months and crews at Easyjet were out of work for three months.

This week, British Airways has run government repatriation flights to get hundreds of UK nationals home from Peru, after the country went into a lockdown.

The UK has reported 29,865 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,357 fatalities.

(Agencies)