British Airways pilots have voted to accept a deal cutting wages by 20 per cent with 270 jobs lost, according to aviation union BALPA.

Infinity Tyres

The deal, which was announced on Friday (31 July 2020), arrives as the airline struggles with the economic impact of the coronavirus which has seen it propose lay-offs of 12,000 staff, more than 1,200 of those pilots.

According to BALPA, salaries will initially be reduced by 20 per cent, then by eight per cent over two years, after which there will be no more wage cuts.

It also prevents, said the union, an unpopular “fire and rehire” scheme where staff would have been handed new contracts on different conditions and which had led to strike threats.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: United Airlines to furlough 3,900 pilots

“Our members have made a pragmatic decision in the circumstances but the fact that we were unable to persuade BA to avoid all compulsory redundancies is bitterly disappointing,” said BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton.

British Airways employs 4,300 pilots. The deal was backed by 85 per cent of pilots, said BALPA, and the turnout was 87 per cent.

Earlier this week, BA criticised the British government for placing quarantine rules on all travellers returning from Spain, claiming it would have an “impact on an already troubled aviation industry”.