British Airways has come under fire from union officials after it emerged that it was in discussions to hand over its call centre operations to outsourcing firm Capita.

Capita confirmed it was talking to British Airways about “forming a potential partnership”, but said no agreement had been made.

A British Airways spokesman said the airline was “conducting a review of our global call centre operations” and confirmed talks with Capita were underway.

BA’s decision to outsource services came under fire following its recent IT meltdown, during which it was criticised for the response from its call centres in Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester.

However, the carrier denied there was any link between outsourcing and the issues it faced.

Quoted in The Guardian, Mick Rix, national officer for aviation at the GMB union, said: “Despite record profits, this is the latest penny wise and pound foolish plan from IAG BA and is consistent with those that led to the IT meltdown.

“Hardworking, loyal and dedicated GMB members are to be rewarded with the outsourcing of their jobs to the lowest-price bidder.”

Around 1,100 staff are currently employed in the call centres. Capita said the possible BA deal formed part of a turnaround plan after a string of profits warnings last year.

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