British Airways (BA) is set to make 2,000 cabin crew staff redundant while paying them twice as much as its main competitor Virgin Atlantic, it has emerged.
Unions began talks with the airline yesterday to urge it to use voluntary redundancy or staff turnover to reduce crew numbers. However, BA warned if its target of 2,000 job losses is not reached, the airline would consider making compulsory redundancies.
BA has suggested a further 32 cost-cutting measures, including cutting holidays by two days to 34 and reducing allowances for overseas travel.
However, data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed that while the average Virgin cabin crew salary was £14,400 per annum, BA paid its staff £29,900. BA’s pilots earned on average £107,600 a year, while Virgin and Easyjet pilots earned £89,500 and £71,400 respectively.
BA pilots look set to be balloted next week on taking industrial action over a series of proposed cuts that would cap their future pay to last year’s level.
Unite, which represents cabin crew, said they could tolerate the cost-cutting measures for cabin crew staff only on a temporary basis, and ruled out permanent changes to staff terms and conditions.