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British Airways places all managers on furlough from Monday

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British Airways has announced additional measures today to conserve revenue in the face of continued Government restrictions on outbound travel.

From next Monday, according to an email sent to staff today by Mel Birch, BA’s Director of Heathrow, ALL managerial staff at Heathrow (including, ironically, Birch herself) will be placed on full or flexi furlough.

It has since emerged that ALL British Airways managerial staff, whether they work at Heathrow or not, are in the same position.

Staff have also been told that all British Airways projects at Heathrow will be halted as part of a need to conserve cash unless:

  • they “deliver instant revenue”
  • deliver cost savings
  • are operationally critical

“Everything else will be stopped” according to the email circulated this morning.

Heathrow employees working ‘on the floor’ have been given an email address and telephone number to contact if they need to speak to a manager from Monday.

In a statement to HfP, British Airways 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 re-open international travel as soon as possible, putting more low-risk countries, like the US, on its green list at the next available opportunity.”

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Comments (86)

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    They are clearly hunkering down for the longer run, definitely not expecting anything significant before September with regards to travel

  • BA Flyer says:

    I’d like to add this is across ALL BA departments, not just Heathrow.

  • AJA says:

    This is inevitable given the removal of Portugal from the Green list and all the noises that the third phase of lockdown easing isn’t going to happen on 21 June. That won’t help BA or any of us looking to go on holiday.

  • Christophe says:

    The Portugal removal was pure political theatre.
    The Government utterly cocked up the India status back in April (again for political reasons), so cannot allow anything to get in the way for the grand re-opening on 21st June.

    Right now Covid policy is being driven by fear and not science. Fear of what the core electorate (elderly) will think if cases/deaths rise.

    It’s looking like we’ll get the worst of both worlds – green list non-existent AND freedom day delayed from 21st June.

    Ironically if that happens the government’s popularity will probably go up not down. Like I said, the fearful are calling the shots right now.

    • Ian M says:

      Sadly it seems you’re right. The removal of some of the most basic freedoms appears very popular with the British people.

      • Callum says:

        No, the theatre was having a green list in the first place. Anyone with an ounce of common sense could see this was inevitable.

        And give me a break with the melodramatic “removal of the most basic freedoms”. You obviously support the (generally permanent) removal of a whole list of “freedoms”, so don’t act like you have some kind of principled concern about the concept of restricting freedom when in reality you’re just annoyed at this specific one.

        • Ian M says:

          No, I don’t support the removal of any freedoms. Why do you think it’s obvious that I do?

          • Callum says:

            Because you don’t appear to be brain dead. If you don’t support a restriction of freedom then you effectively don’t support the legal system. I think it’s fairly obvious you do.

        • Andy says:

          Was it though Callum? We made a big deal,of getting people vaccinated as that would help life go back to normal. Now it seems that even if you are vaccinated that isn’t the case. Yet in many EU countries and the US if you are vaccinated you can travel without quarantining.

          I still don’t understand why if you’re fully vaccinated you can’t go to any country that will have you

          • Callum says:

            Yes. Obviously it would HELP get life back to normal, but I don’t think the government have ever said that it WILL make life normal? If they have then you’d have to be incredibly gullible to believe them.

            Again, because vaccinated people can catch and spread the virus. I helped treat a Covid positive patient just yesterday who had already had both jabs…

            You’re all framing your arguments dishonestly. It’s perfectly legitimate to argue against restrictions on the basis that the benefits supposedly outweigh the harm (just like cars etc. – how many do they kill?), but I wish people would stop pretending that they understand the actual medical side of this better than infectious disease experts do.

  • David Cohen says:

    The death knell was the announcement of the US/UK travel “task force”. Anyone that speaks mandarin knows that “task force” = delay.

    Whilst Portugal might have helped keep the lights-on, BA and IAG will only start to recover in any meaningful way once the North Atlantic opens. That’s clearly not going to happen until the end of July at the earliest, hence today’s furlough announcement.

    • kitten says:

      “speaks mandarin” love it !!

      • Sukes says:

        “A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled” – former Clerk of the House of Commons

  • Nick says:

    Every single member of head office staff (apart from MC) is being placed on flexi- or full-furlough from tomorrow, definitely not only restricted to heathrow teams.

  • Chaz says:

    Pedant mode [on]

    You cannot conserve revenue. I think you mean cash.

    Pedant mode [off].

  • Journeying John says:

    BA’s response / comment is laughable given their earlier hostile actions to their own workforce and the fire and rehire for those remaining.
    They have had over £2.3BILLION in UK taxpayer backing IN ADDITION to existing furlough payments, tax breaks and payment deferrals.
    BA are sitting on £Millions in unpaid refunds to their customers and IAG still have over £9Billion in cash reserves,
    This smacks of arrogant petulance and if they want the UK taxpayer to pick up even more of their bills, then they should be stripped of ALL landing slots and forced to compete for them in an open market PLUS be investigated for anti-competitive practices and acting unlawfully with respect to consumer rights,
    £7 figure Executive salaries? £2billion profits annually for three years before the pandemic? Disastrous fuel hedging? £9Billion in cash reserves for IAG? BA responsible for 68% of group profits?
    They don’t need the money but are making a political point… and if they acted lawfully they have nothing to fear from a CMA investigation!!!

    • Ant Heather says:

      I’m sorry to say, but I partly agree with this point!

    • HB13 says:

      BA is well within their rights to do this, and they have no other option. The government has basically done everything it could to destroy the travel industry and we are likely to see no significant travel at all this year.

      This is ALL on HMG – not BA.

      • Callum says:

        If you think this is “everything they can do” to destroy the travel industry, they must be incredibly incompetent. There are a million things they could have done to make it worse – not having a green list in the first place for starters.

      • bafan says:


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