British Airways has reached an agreement with pilots union BALPA over proposed restructuring and job losses.

In a statement the carrier’s owner said:

“International Airlines Group (IAG) welcomed last night’s announcement by British Airways’ pilots’ union BALPA that it intends to hold a consultative ballot of its members in relation to the proposed restructuring and redundancy agreement reached between the union and the airline. This is in response to the Covid-19 crisis affecting the aviation industry. BALPA has recommended to its members that they approve the proposals.

“The ballot is due to close on July 31, 2020. IAG will provide a further update at that time.”

For its part BALPA said it would recommend the deal to its members as “the best that can be achieved in these incredibly difficult circumstances”.

According to the union the key elements of the deal are as follows:

  • Voluntary part time working, voluntary severance, voluntary external secondments.
  • A holding pool of the equivalent of 300 pilots employed on reduced pay ready to return to flying as demand picks up.
  • These measures funded by pilot pay cuts starting at 20 per cent and reducing to 8 per cent over the next two years then further reducing toward zero over the longer term.
  • Despite these measures, BA pilots are devastated at the prospect of around 270 compulsory redundancies although we expect this number will fall further as voluntary mitigation measures continue to be taken up.
  • There will be no “fire and rehire” of pilots.

Commenting on the news BALPA’s General Secretary said that “It is hugely disappointing that during our extensive negotiations British Airways would not accept the full package of mitigations we put forward which would have avoided any job losses at all, and at no cost to BA”.

“As a result there will be some compulsory redundancies amongst the pilot community and that is a matter of huge regret. Given BA’s intransigence we have put together the best package we can to save as many jobs as possible.”