EasyJet has disputed claims made by a union official that the airline is “hanging by a thread”.

A leaked recording obtained by the BBC purports to include a British Airline Pilots’ Association representative telling colleagues after a meeting with easyJet’s chief financial officer that the carrier was in a “really dire situation”.

The meeting between pilot and union rep Martin Entwisle, three other representatives and management of the budget carrier occurred two weeks ago.

Entwisle reportedly said in a subsequent presentation to pilots: “I think the easiest way to put it is that the company is hanging by a thread. The situation is dire.

“If we don’t have a good summer next summer and make a considerable amount of money, we really are going to be out of a job.”

The recording comes from the presentation, which was given by the union officials as part of a process to encourage pilots to take up the airline’s offer of part-time working in order to save jobs.

Balpa announced on Friday that it had reached agreement with easyJet to avoid any compulsory redundancies. Sixty pilots have left voluntarily, while 1,500 have agreed to part-time work, around 75% of all pilots at the airline.

All pilots based at Southend, Stansted and Newcastle bases – which have been closed – will be offered jobs elsewhere on the UK network.

EasyJet said in a statement: “The recording does not reflect what easyJet or its chief financial officer said.

“We have been clear the whole industry has been impacted by the pandemic, however, easyJet has taken a prudent approach to capacity and the right actions on cash preservation.

“The airline continues to keep all liquidity options under review, but no decisions have been taken.

“Winter flying is always significantly lower than summer and easyJet will continue with its prudent and dynamic approach to capacity over the winter. No decisions have been taken and we will update the market in due course.”

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