British Airways pilots have backed a proposal to have their wages slashed as part of the airline’s plan to set up a low-cost short-haul subsidiary catering for holidaymakers out of Gatwick airport.
Pilots voted 82 per cent in favour of the pay cuts which will only affect pilots working for the short-haul subsidiary based at Gatwick reports Head For Points.
British Airways threatened to quit Gatewick altogether after the BALPA pilots union called off a ballot last month over the proposals. BA says it’s been losing money on its short-haul operation at Gatwick airport for years and it requires a radical overhaul to become sustainable.
While passengers shouldn’t notice any difference, British airways is setting up a subsidiary that will employ pilots on radically different contracts to their peers at the mainline operation based at Heathrow Airport.
By paying pilots less than flight crew at easyJet, the airline hopes to be able to go head-to-head with low-cost rivals who have proved to be fearsome competition at Gatwick.
The BALPA pilots union has broadly supported the creation of a subsidiary with lower wages because it will support more jobs and act as a springboard into the mainline operation where pilots are still on attractive contracts.
British Airways pulled most flights planned to operate from Gatwick next year but the airline could quickly reinstate its schedule and have the new subsidiary up and running within months. The deal voted upon by pilots needs to be formally ratified by both the BALPA pilots union and British Airways.
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.