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British Airways CEO Will Finally Take a Pay Cut, Says Doing Everything to Protect Jobs

British Airways CEO Will Finally Take a Pay Cut, Says Doing Everything to Protect Jobs

Alex Cruz, the chief executive of British Airways has finally told staff he will forego his salary for two months as he believes “this is the right thing to do” as the airline attempts to cut costs because of the Covid-19 crisis. Cruz had been under increasing pressure to take a pay cut after warning employees that there would likely be redundancies in a memo he titled “the survival of British Airways”.

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA’s parent company had already announced plans to take a 20 per cent pay cut because of the ongoing crisis but Cruz had remained silent despite a wave of airline executives announcing similar pay cuts.

The chief executive of British Airways, Alex Cruz has already experienced one major cabin crew strike since taking on the role. Photo Credit: British Airways
The chief executive of British Airways, Alex Cruz. Photo Credit: British Airways

Yesterday, the president of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark said he would forego all pay for three months and Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas said he would not be paid until June. Similar announcement had already been made by other airline leaders including Delta chief exec Ed Bastian.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss also said he would take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next four months. He made that announcement at the very start of March. Such announcements have normally preceded a request for staff to take unpaid leave of a similar duration.

“We are having to act fast to preserve funds. We will all be making sacrifices to help protect out business, just as we are making sacrifices in how we live our daily lives,” Cruz wrote in the leaked internal memo.

“Personally, I have decided not to take a salary for two months, as I believe this is right thing for me to do,” the memo continued.

Thanking staff for their “professionalism during this difficult time,” Cruz said staffers were doing “amazing” work and should be proud of themselves.

“Of course, job security is top of mind,” the memo continued. “These are very tough times for our industry and our business. We are doing everything we can to protect as many jobs as we can. And I would like to thank the trade unions who are working hand in hand with us to look at all the options including the Government employment assistance schemes.”

Last week, a pilots union signed off a deal with British Airways that will see flight crew take a 50 per cent pay cut over the next three months. The deal did, however, crucially prevent any compulsory job losses as had been first feared. Negotiations between unions and the airline are continuing for how other departments might be impacted.

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