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They slammed its plan to axe 12,000 jobs and cut the terms and conditions of 35,000 staff as an “attempt to take advantage of the pandemic”. The transport select committee urged passengers to boycott the national carrier. BA was savaged for the cuts while receiving a subsidy to protect jobs, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The report also urged the Government to axe its controversial 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from abroad as BA, easyJet and Ryanair launched legal action to halt the “flawed” policy.
The airlines claimed the measure will have a “devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy” – and was harsher than the curbs on those with Covid-19.
The MPs also joined with the industry in demanding air bridges to low-risk countries. The Government was rebuked for taking too long to help the sector, which could lose more than £20billion in revenue this year.
Airlines were accused of causing “additional stress and hardship” by delaying ticket refunds.
BA said it was “surprised” it had been singled out given other airline redundancies.
It said it was “burning £20million a day in cash” and that furlough covered just 17 percent of its monthly wage bill in April.
Amid union accusations of “brutal thuggery”, BA said it will do everything in its power to survive and sustain the maximum number of jobs consistent with the “new reality”.
A Government spokesman said it “acted quickly” to help aviation, but added that “we will always put public health first, and we must not risk an extremely damaging second wave of the virus”.
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