British Airways strikes deal with pilots so 300 ‘surplus’ could be re-hired later


BRITISH Airways has announced a deal with its pilots, confirming 300 ‘surplus’ to requirements could be re-hired later.

Balpa union officials said that those not sacked will be given a ‘priority return’ – just as The Sun revealed.

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Some unwanted flying crew could join the RAF temporarily.

We told how 350 pilots were facing the boot and another 300 would be ‘pooled’ until needed.

Balpa admitted that after voluntary redundancies and part-time options, it is hoped significantly ‘less than 450 pilots’ now face a compulsory exit from BA.

Despite dismissing The Sun report, the union now admits: “One way in which we have driven down the surplus figure is to commit to carrying 300 surplus pilots through a two-year pay reduction for all.”

Under the agreement, pilots remaining with BA face receiving just 80% of their pay until November, and then 85% of pay until October 2022.

They will then get 94% of their salary until January 2024.

Pilots also face a pay freeze for three years.

A 4% hike expected to kick in from April next year has been deferred until January 2024.

Cockpit crew must also take two weeks of unpaid leave within the next 12 months.

Balpa told its members: “We have so far significantly reduced the number of potential compulsory redundancies and put in place a number of voluntary mitigation measures.”

A leading pilot told The Sun: “Captains and First Officers feel let down by Balpa. We were told officials would put up a fight but this feels like they’ve agreed with everything BA wanted.

“Balpa has not covered itself in glory – not least by lambasting The Sun’s report, which turned out to be correct.”

Balpa has recommended BA’s pilots ratify the negotiated deal.

BA pilot bosses told its cockpit crew: “I am hugely disappointed that pilots will leave us but despite our best efforts the scale of the task we face is too great.”

The Sun understand that most of the cockpit crew facing compulsory redundancies are based at Gatwick airport.

The iconic 747 fleet is likely to be grounded forever – as revealed in The Sun – and all training and maintenance on the fleet has been cancelled. For over half a century, the Boeing 747 has been part of BA’s fleet. The first aircraft was delivered to BA predecessor BOAC in 1970.

BA wants to cull 12,000 staff and re-hire the rest of its 36,000 workforce to lower-paid deals.

The move has been condemned by swathes of MPs and celebrities amid claims BA has used coronavirus to ease its bottom line.

Cabin crew have been offered increased pay and better terms by BA in a bid to win them over and stop union threats of a strike.

But 40% of the older ‘legacy’ crew claim they are being unfairly targeted and face pay cuts as the airline bids to create one fleet from the existing three.

Talks between BA and Unite over the remaining staff deals are due to start in days.


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