The carrier has been forced to furlough thousands of employees again as the wait for a return of international travel continues. BA has demanded the Government to ease restrictions and to move the US to the green list “at the next available opportunity”.
BA had begun to bring workers back to work on May 17, the date the Government set for the restart of international travel.
However, and after the traffic light system review last week, it seems like the summer season is over for the carrier.
With Portugal moved back to the amber list and only 11 countries on the green list – but none of them a significant holiday destination – thousands of staff are being put back onto the furlough scheme.
The carrier had already cut more than 8,000 jobs last year, which was the worst downturn in aviation history.
A British Airways’ spokesperson 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.”
Taking to social media, crew and other employees have expressed their frustration with the ongoing travel restrictions.
“Well done @BorisJohnson Aer Lingus calls in liquidator for Stobbart Air whilst British Airways furlough more staff. You are determined to keep US-UK travel corridor shut and destroy the economy.
“Get it open for vaccinated people. There is no reason to delay,” said a crew member.
“BA staff are back on furlough. We are all going to be struggling, we need to stand up now, we’ve got nothing to lose anymore. Enough is enough,” said another.
British Aiways’ CEO Sean Doyle has called for the urgent reopening of the UK-US travel corridor, one of his airline’s key routes.
“We urgently need them to look to the science and base their judgements on a proper risk analysis, allowing us all to benefit from the protection offered by our successful vaccine rollouts”, said Doyle.
UK airline bosses wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week to demand the travel corridor between UK and the US as the “critical next step”.
During the G7 summit, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that the UK will begin to work on resuming travel with the US.
“We’re pleased to announce a joint UK/US Taskforce to help facilitate the reopening of transatlantic travel,” he said.
However, no progress on the traffic light system is expected to be announced before the Government decides on its domestic policy.
The Government made it clear that its priority at the moment is the easing of the domestic lockdown on June 21.
After that, the travel list will be reviewed again around June 24.
There is hope that more countries will be added to the green list, and restrictions will be eased at least for vaccinated travellers.
BA staff are planning to take the streets of London next week to protest against the current travel restrictions.