Just days after reaching a pay deal with its pilots, British Airways has told staff the airline has recently hired over 300 ex-Thomas Cook employees who were made immediately redundant when the tour firm fell into bankruptcy in the summer. Amongst the new hires are many pilots, cabin crew and call centre staff.
The timing of the announcement from BA’s head of resourcing Kay Jones-Wolsey would suggest that rumours pilots at the airline conceded defeat in a pay dispute in order to secure jobs for their colleagues was true. Neither British Airways or the BALPA pilots union have publicly commented on the rumours.
“We were all saddened to see the collapse this year of another iconic travel brand, Thomas Cook,” Jones-Wolsey said.
“While we cannot help all of Thomas Cook’s employees, I’m pleased to say that we have made job offers to 300 of them including pilots, cabin crew, contact centre agents and engineering apprentices,” she continued.
“It is great to welcome these dedicated and experienced professionals, who all expressed a strong desire to join the British Airways team and continue their aviation industry careers with us.”
Some 9,000 staffers were made redundant when Thomas Cook collapsed in September. Many didn’t even receive their final pay check after administrators seized whatever assets the travel group still had. Several airlines immediately offered to help Thomas Cook employees, opening up expedited hiring processes and filling vacancies much quicker than normal.
Virgin Atlantic, TUI Fly, and easyJet were amongst the airlines that took on the failed airline’s ex-employees.
The German side of the airline, Condor was saved with the help of a government bailout but in the last few days it has been revealed that at least 120 cabin crew will he made redundant as the leisure operator looks to slash costs. Further redundancies are likely to follow.
British Airways pilots staged a 48-hour strike in early September as they battled with the airline to win concessions on pay and conditions. Following the collapse of Thomas Cook, the pilots union went mysteriously quiet and it was widely reported that negotiators were busy securing jobs for their colleagues.
In the end, pilots accepted a largely unchanged offer that British Airways had put on the table months before.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.