British Airways planes park at Heathrow Airport in London. File photo
British Airways is in talks with its union about a plan to suspend around 32,000 staff in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a person familiar with the situation said.
The British flag carrier has massively reduced flights and warned it will need to cut jobs to survive the emergency as the battered aviation sector frantically seeks to take out costs.
Owned by IAG, BA has already suspended flights from Britain's second busiest airport, Gatwick, and its parent company has said flying capacity would be down 75% in April and May.
Under the BA plan around 80% of staff including cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and those in head office will have their jobs suspended. The BBC, which first reported the news, said no staff would be made redundant.
Rival airline easyJet said on Monday that it had grounded its entire fleet.
SAS, which furloughed around 90 percent of its staff in mid-March, said it would begin processes to cut around 1,900 full-time positions in Sweden, 1,300 in Norway and 1,700 in Denmark.
The United Kingdom left the bloc at the end of January, but EU law still applies until the end of a post-Brexit transition period, and would normally restrict state subsidies.
Infections have been reported in 210 countries since the first cases were identified in China in December last year and British aid minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said assisting the poorest nations now would help prevent the virus returning to the United Kingdom.
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