British Airways says no ‘meaningful’ return to service before July

Unsurprisingly, the aviation conglomerate said: “IAG expects that its second quarter will be significantly worse than the first quarter.” Willie Walsh, the chief executive, was due to retire in March 2020 but has stayed in post because of the Covid-19 crisis. “March’s performance was severely affected by government travel restrictions due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 which significantly impacted demand. “We are taking all appropriate actions to preserve cash, reduce and defer both capital spending and operating costs and secure additional financing in order to strengthen and maintain our liquidity.” 
IAG is cutting up to 29 per cent of staff at British Airways, amounting to 12,000 of the 42,000 jobs. While IAG’s airlines are running some skeleton services, Mr Walsh revealed that “a meaningful return to service” will not happen before July at the earliest. After photographs emerged on Monday of a packed Aer Lingus flight from Belfast to London Heathrow, many prospective passengers have expressed concern about the lack of social distancing on board aircraft. The aviation industry is desperate to reassure customers that they can travel safely in the company of strangers – with airlines and airports imposing a range of controls from pre-flight temperature checks to wearing face masks on board. “We intend to come out of the crisis as a stronger group.” “BA’s UK staff are now facing mass redundancies or working on vastly reduced terms. “In Spain, it would appear that BA’s parent has adopted a different strategy of seeking substantial government financial support and maintaining its operations and employee numbers.