British Airways to lay off 1130 pilots and make cuts to its operations at Gatwick Airport

British Airways plans to lay off 1130 pilots and will reduce its operations at Gatwick Airport (the second biggest “London” airport after Heathrow) as part of its plan to cut 12000 jobs. The British flag carrier previously announced on Tuesday evening that it was to lay off 30% of its work force and get rid of 4 out of 5 managers at Gatwick. British Airways is the British flag carrier but it is not owned by the government; it is part of IAG (the International Airlines Group). This is why the British government declared a couple of days ago that it would not give the airline any financial help. British Airways’s parent company, IAG, has declined to seek government help, unlike Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic. IAG, based in England and Spain, is the result of a merger between Iberia (the flag carrier of Spain) and British Airways, so it is tough to know whether it would seek aid from the British government, or from the Spanish government if necessary. But, at the time of the merger, British Aiways was given 55 % of the shares, as it was the larger of the 2 airlines, so I doubt that IAG will ask for financial help from the Spanish government. I know, this gets a bit confusing, because British Airways asks for help and IAG doesn’t so it’s a bit tough to know who owns who, and what the government’s position is. Since IAG’s creation in 2011, it has purchased Aer Lingus (the flag carrier of Ireland), Vueling (a Spanish low-cost airline) and the Avios Group. It is also in the process of purchasing Air Europa (a Spanish airline based at Tenerife North and Palma de Mallorca Aiport that flies to 44 different destinations, many of which are in Ameica and the Caribbean). What do you think? If IAG were to ask for financial help, would it be to the Spanish or the British government ? 1st of May 2020.

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