IAG’s British Airways puts staff back on furlough as travel restrictions remain

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British Airways, part of International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG), has put most of its staff back on the government furlough scheme due to a continued lack of international travel.


The airline, which heard this week that it could face action from the UK competition authority over its failure to offer refunds for flights cancelled due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), had started to bring workers back in preparation for the easing of coronavirus restrictions on overseas travel last month.


But demand for flights has been lower than expected as Portugal was recently removed from the UK’s ‘green list’ of countries where no quarantine is needed, leaving only Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands available for holidays and the government advising people not to visit ‘amber’ countries for holidays.


Many BA staff have now been put onto the flexible furlough scheme while also working part time, the BBC reported, with the hope that international travel will resume soon.


This is despite parent IAG recently raising another EUR800mln from investors, topping up total cash and bank facilities that stood at EUR10.5bn at the end of March, following losses of more than EUR1bn reported in the latest quarter.


A British Airways spokesperson said: “Like many companies we’re using the furlough scheme to protect jobs during this unprecedented crisis.


“However, it’s vital the government follows its risk-based framework to re-open international travel as soon as possible, putting more low-risk countries, like the US, on its green list at the next available opportunity.”

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