British Airways Cuts More Jobs As Losses Pile Up

By: CNN
By: CNN

LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Airways is cutting the equivalent of 1,700 more jobs as it faces a second consecutive year of losses, it announced Tuesday.

The latest round of cuts brings total job losses at the British flag carrier to at least 3,150 this year.

"About 1,000 members of cabin crew would like to take voluntary redundancy [voluntary severance] and a further 3,000 would like to switch to part-time working," the company said in a statement, calling the cuts equivalent to 1,700 full-time positions.

The cuts will take effect from the end of November, and do not require negotiations with unions, the airline said. Britain's Transport and General Workers union did not have an immediate comment.

The job cuts "will not reduce the number of working crew onboard," the British Airways statement said.

"British Airways is currently not profitable and we expect to record a significant loss for the second consecutive year -- the first time that has happened in our history," the airline said.

"Without changes, we will lose more money with every month that passes. It is essential we make ourselves more efficient if we are to ensure our long-term survival," it concluded.

The company asked staff to work for up to four weeks without pay earlier this year to save money -- and about one in six agreed to do so.

Of the 40,000-strong workforce, 6,940 employees had volunteered for unpaid leave, part-time work or unpaid work by June 24. Their actions were set to save the company up to £10 million ($16 million), the company said at the time.

Of the volunteers, 4,000 workers chose unpaid leave; 1,400 workers took a switch to part-time work, and 800 agreed to work without pay, British Airways told CNN. A further 740 staff from outside the United Kingdom also chose one of the three options.

Even so, British Airways reported a pretax loss of $245 million in the April-June period, contributing to an already tough year for the troubled airline.

British Airways had already cut 1,450 jobs since the end of March and persuaded its pilots to agree to a pay cut. Chief Executive Willie Walsh gave up his July salary to help the airline cut costs.

In July the airline said it planned to raise nearly $1 billion in emergency cash funding to survive the economic downturn.

Walsh said in July that British Airways was reducing its flying schedule and would park 22 aircraft during the coming winter season. The delivery for its first Airbus A380 aircraft has been put off for about five months, with six more aircraft delayed by about two years, he said.

The results released July 31 show total revenue for the three-month period was down 12.2 percent.

Passenger revenue was down 12.5 percent, and cargo revenue decreased by 28.1 percent, the airline said.


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