US attack prompts BA to axe 7,000 jobs

British
Airways is to shed 7,000 jobs in response to falling passenger demand following
last week’s terrorist attacks in the US.

The
company has also announced a 10 per cent reduction in flying and the withdrawal
of 20 aircraft from its operation.

BA’s
chief executive Rod Eddington said, "We face exceptional conditions which
have forced us to take very tough decisions.

"The
tragic events in the USA will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the
demand for air travel in the months ahead. We have taken the necessary steps to
curtail expenditure and sadly to cut our workforce. Wherever possible we will
try to achieve these cuts by voluntary means. We are currently in consultation
with our unions."

A
reduction of 10 aircraft from the long-haul fleet will be achieved initially by
advancing the retirement of the Boeing 747-200s from spring 2002 and then by
withdrawing other wide-bodied aircraft.

Six
Boeing 767s and four narrow-bodied aircraft will be withdrawn from the
short-haul operation.

By Ben Willmott

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