British Airways boss Alex Cruz defends decision to axe 12,000 jobs as he tells MPs airline is ‘fighting for survival’ amid Covid pandemic while passengers are ‘still afraid of travelling’

  • Chief executive Alex Cruz stressed that ‘people need to get flying again’ 
  • He told MPs that many are still cautious about travelling for fear of quarantine
  • In April, BA announced plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, 30 per cent of workforce 

The boss of British Airways has defended his decision to cut 12,000 jobs and said the pandemic has left the national carrier ‘fighting for survival’.

Chief executive Alex Cruz stressed that ‘people need to get flying again’ if the company is to emerge through the winter.

But he told MPs that many are still cautious about travelling while countries are constantly brought on, and struck off, the government’s quarantine list.   

The boss of British Airways has defended his decision to cut 12,000 jobs and said the pandemic has left the national carrier 'fighting for survival'

The boss of British Airways has defended his decision to cut 12,000 jobs and said the pandemic has left the national carrier ‘fighting for survival’

He told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee: ‘Fewer passengers means fewer flights, and fewer flights means fewer people required to actually service them.

‘As CEO of British Airways, I have to take responsibility. I cannot ignore the situation. I had to act incredibly fast.

‘I deeply, deeply regret that way too many loyal and hardworking colleagues of mine are having to leave our business, and I understand why MPs are concerned.’

In April, British Airways announced plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, representing nearly 30 per cent of its workforce.

Mr Cruz said: ‘This is an impossible situation. We’re having to make incredibly difficult decisions as a consequence of this pandemic and it is really only because of Covid-19 that we have had to go through such deep restructuring.

‘I have to make these difficult decisions at this time but I am completely dedicated and focused on protecting those nearly 30,000 jobs of those British Airways colleagues that will remain within the business.’

Chief executive Alex Cruz stressed that 'people need to get flying again' if the company is to emerge through the winter

Chief executive Alex Cruz stressed that ‘people need to get flying again’ if the company is to emerge through the winter

He added: ‘People are still afraid of travelling. Of course, we are having weekly changes, as you know, to the quarantine list. 

‘We don’t have a testing solution yet. And still our customers are paying APD (air passenger duty) even just to fly on domestic regional flights.

‘So the overall situation is quite challenging, and this is why we are taking every measure possible to make sure that we can actually make it through this winter.’

And he went on: ‘The main focus at the moment is to survive. We must make it through, then we must be able to  compete effectively and make it through the recovery cycle… people need to get flying again. 

‘We must be able to get our airplanes up in the air again and we must be able to be ready to support that as it happens. That must be the focus at this point in time.’ 

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