United Kingdom’s flag carrier British Airways has been labelled as national disgrace by the lawmakers of the country.
According to a report, Britain’s Transport Select Committee said that BA and its parent company IAG were trying to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to cut 12,000 jobs and downgrade the terms and conditions of other employees.
Conservative lawmaker Huw Merriman, who chairs the committee, “It is unacceptable that a company would seek to drive this level of change under the cover of a pandemic,”
“It is imperative that the UK government finds a way to get aviation back on its feet,” Merriman said.
In response, a spokeswoman for the airline said: “We will do everything in our power to ensure that British Airways can survive and sustain the maximum number of jobs consistent with the new reality of a changed airline industry in a severely weakened global economy.”
The lawmakers said that the quarantine would damage the economy of UK and called for the government to replace it with more targeted measures, such as travel corridors between low-risk countries.
BA, along with competitor airlines easyJet and Ryanair, launched legal action on Friday to try to overturn the quarantine policy.
All three have announced job cuts, but so far only BA has been singled out for its tactics.
BA, which is burning through £20 million ($25.2 million) a day and has no revenues, is preparing for what most airlines and travel experts expect to be a smaller travel market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier Chief Executive of British Airways Alex Cruz, who himself reportedly on a basic salary of over £1.3 million, wrote to staff, saying,
“There is no government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely.”
“Any money we borrow now will only be short-term and will not address the longer-term challenges we face. … The scale of this challenge requires substantial change so we are in a competitive and resilient position, not just to address the immediate Covid-19 pandemic, but also to withstand any longer-term reductions in customer demand, economic shocks or other events that could affect us.”