Coronavirus: UK government warns British Airways over aggressive job cut program

Coronavirus: UK government warns British Airways over aggressive job cut program

The UK government warned British Airways it risks losing valuable airport landing slots after deciding to let go 12,000 staff while claiming government money to protect jobs during the pandemic.

An urgent session in Parliament on Wednesday about aviation was dominated by lawmakers concerns over plans to slash the former flag carrier’s workforce.

Transport Minister Kelly Tolhurst, responding to questions from lawmakers, said she felt the concerns of workers and agreed that British Airways had breached the public’s trust by instituting sweeping job reductions while accepting state wage subsidies. She would consider asking the Civil Aviation Authority to take away some of the airline’s landing slots if it doesn’t reverse the staff reductions.

“Businesses get the benefit of being shareholders in the good times and must share the burden in the bad times,” Tolhurst said. “I’m quite willing to look at anything that could open up and increase the competition in our aviation sector.’

Like other airline companies, British Airways parent IAG SA is slashing costs to contend with a historic drop in air travel due to the virus. Carriers in Europe and the Middle East have signaled plans to eliminate more than 60,000 positions since the onset of the crisis, including 10,000 on Wednesday at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

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