British Airways (BA) is having to take every measure possible to make it through the winter due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, its boss said on Wednesday September 16.
BA CEO Alex Cruz told a parliamentary select committee that the airline is running at 25% to 30% of its normal flight schedule, prompting it to cut thousands of jobs because "fewer flights means fewer people required to actually service them".
"This is the worst crisis that British Airways has gone through in its 100 years of history," he said. "We're still fighting for our own survival. "We are taking every measure possible to make sure we can actually make it through this winter. We do not see a short-term coming back of our passengers. All the feedback we get...is still pointing at a slow recovery process."
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Britain's leading airline has been heavily criticised by politicians and unions for laying off 13,000 staff and renegotiating the contracts of many of its remaining employees.
Burning Through Money
BA said that it has no choice because it is burning through £20 million a day and straining the finances of parent company International Airlines Group (IAG), which is in the process of raising €2.74 billion from shareholders.
Cruz has cut his own pay by about a third.
UK-based airlines have benefited from government employment retention schemes and loans, but have not had the kind of industry-specific support deployed in France and Germany to bail out Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.
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