In a letter to British Airways staff on Tuesday,
Alex Cruz, the airline's Chairman and CEO, warned of significant
The global aviation body, IATA, has forecast that full
year industry passenger revenues could plummet 55% compared to
2019, while traffic falls 48%. Many airlines have grounded all of
their planes and more than a few are expected to go out of business.
On Monday, British Airways flew just a handful of
aircraft out of London Heathrow, compared to more than 300 on a
In the letter, Mr. Cruz, wrote, "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.
"In the last few weeks, the outlook for the
aviation industry has worsened further and we must take action
now. We are a strong, well-managed business that has faced into,
and overcome, many crises in our hundred-year history. We must
overcome this crisis ourselves, too.
"There is no Government bailout standing by for BA
and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely.
Any money we borrow now will only be short-term and will not
address the longer-term challenges we will face.
"We do not know when countries will reopen their
borders or when the lockdowns will lift, and so we have to
reimagine and reshape our airline and create a new future for our
people, our customers and the destinations we serve. 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. Your views matter and we will listen to all practical
"The scale of this challenge requires substantial
change so we are in a competitive and resilient position, not just
to address the immediate COVID19 pandemic, but also to withstand
any longer-term reductions in customer demand, economic shocks or
other events that could affect us. However challenging this is,
the longer we delay difficult decisions, the fewer options will be
open to us ... We must act decisively now to ensure that British
Airways has a strong future and continues connecting Britain with
the world, and the world with Britain."
IAG, the airline's parent company, also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus.