Come fly with us for a £1,000 golden handshake, British Airways tells workers

parked out of use British Airways aeroplanes stored at Bournemouth International Airport, Dorset during the Coronavirus crisis

British Airways is tackling its staff shortage by offering a “welcome bonus” of £1,000 to lure cabin crew from other airlines.

The carrier, part of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), is advertising on its careers website for Heathrow cabin crew who already have a current Heathrow or Stansted airside ID and cabin crew attestation.

The job description says: “As a current airside ID holder, you can move more quickly through our pre-employment checks and start your training sooner.” The positions on offer carry a basic pay of £16,800, although flying and duty pay and a tax-free subsistence allowance can lift that to as much £28,000, plus staff travel benefits.

On top of that the airline is paying a welcome bonus of £1,000 in two instalments: £500 after the first three months with the remainder after six months in the role. In an attempt to avoid a summer labour shortage, BA warns applicants that should their notice period from their current employer prevent them joining before July, they may not qualify for the bonus.

BA’s move, first reported by The Daily Telegraph, comes as holidaymakers face hundreds of flight cancellations and snaking airport security queues over the Easter break due to a Covid-related shortage of staff. During the pandemic the aviation sector was forced to lay off tens of thousands of workers, leaving the industry struggling to cope with the recovery in demand in recent weeks.

The Cabinet Office said yesterday that applicants for a counter-terror check, required for an airside airport pass, would be prioritised by the UK’s security vetting body to ease staffing pressures and reduce queues.

Johan Lundgren, 55, the easyJet chief executive, said yesterday that the budget airline was waiting for the government to clear about 100 new members of staff to start work.