British Airways has said it could cut up to 12,000 jobs as a result of the collapse in business from the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline's parent company, IAG, could impose the 'restructuring and redundancy programme' and is in talks with unions about the extent of the impact.
BA employs about 42,000 people and has warned for some time that job losses were likely.
In a statement, IAG said: 'The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways' employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.'
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO at British Airways, highlighted in an open letter that 'the global aviation body, IATA, has said that the industry has never seen a downturn this deep before, and that full year industry passenger revenues could plummet 55% compared to 2019, while traffic falls 48%'.?
He added: 'Many airlines have grounded all of their planes. Sadly, we will see some airlines go out of business with the resulting job losses.
'Our very limited flying schedule means that revenues are not coming into our business. We are taking every possible action to conserve cash, which will help us to weather the storm in the short-term. We are working closely with partners and suppliers to discuss repayment terms; we are re-negotiating contracts where possible; and we are considering all the options for our current and future aircraft fleet. All of these actions alone are not enough. ?
'We have informed the Government and the Trade Unions of our proposals to consult over a number of changes, including possible reductions in headcount. We will begin a period of consultation, during which we will work with the trade unions to protect as many jobs as possible.'
EasyJet has laid off its 4,000 UK-based cabin crew for two months and Sir Richard Branson' s Virgin Atlantic airline has called on the government for a loan thought to be up to £500m, the BBC reports.