British Airways is set to make up to 12,000 workers redundant, its parent company has said.
The airline, which employs 42,000 people, has suffered from the global collapse in passenger numbers caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner International Airlines Group (IAG) announced the planned job cuts as it revealed that revenues plunged 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2020.
In a statement, IAG said: “In light of the impact of Covid-19 on current operations and the expectation that the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years, British Airways is formally notifying its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy programme.
“The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.
“As previously announced, British Airways has availed itself of the UK’s Covid-19 job retention scheme and furloughed 22,626 employees in April.”
In a letter to staff, BA chief executive Alex Cruz wrote: “In the last few weeks, the outlook for the aviation industry has worsened further and we must take action now.
“We are a strong, well-managed business that has faced into, and overcome, many crises in our hundred-year history.
“We must overcome this crisis ourselves, too.
“There is no Government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely.”
Around 4,500 pilots and 16,000 cabin crew work for BA.
IAG did not provide a breakdown of how many people in what roles could be made redundant.
Airlines around the world face a struggle to survive due to the pandemic.
Sir Richard Branson has warned that Virgin Atlantic will collapse unless it receives support and after failing in obtaining funding from the government it has instructed a bank to find a white knight to save the airline.