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BA ‘furloughs thousands of staff’ amid continuing travel curbs

British Airways has been forced to furlough thousands of employees amid ongoing global travel restrictions.

A large number of workers have been put back onto the scheme, the airline confirmed.

The airline confirmed reports that more members of staff are to go onto the flexible furlough scheme and work part-time.

Those affected are understood to include management and those not linked to safety operations and operational critical roles.


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A BA 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 reopen international travel as soon as possible, putting more low-risk countries, like the US, on its green list at the next available opportunity.”

Staff were being brought off furlough ahead of the summer peak period after the government set May 17 as the date for the restart of international travel.

But only a handful of destinations made the green list and Portugal was then abruptly removed.

UK airline chiefs have wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak this week urging that he sign off “a series of targeted economic support measures” for aviation in light of the latest shutdown of air travel.

BA chairman and chief executive Sean Doyle earlier welcomed a move by prime minister Boris Johnson and US president Joe Biden to create a taskforce to reopen transatlantic air travel.

The announcement was “a step in the right direction”, but he added: “We are now at a critical point and need action without delay, including clear criteria and a timeline.

“Anything other than this could result in tough consequences.”

Meanwhile the Business Travel Association revealed the UK lost £5.57 billion in GDP this week due to the decline of business travel trips following Covid-19.

Data shows that in the first week of June, business travel trips from the UK dropped by 81.23% from 2019 pre-pandemic levels – with a reduction of 406,732 in the past week.

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