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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
British Airways cuts 1,800 jobs
British Airways
BA has not ruled out some compulsory redundancies
British Airways has told unions it is cutting 1,800 jobs by the end of the financial year.

The company said it aimed to achieve the headcount reduction through voluntary redundancies and natural wastage.

But a spokesman said the company could not rule out compulsory redundancies.


BA say they are the world's favourite airline - they are certainly not ours

John Edmonds
GMB union

Engineers, cabin crew and customer services staff will be among those facing cutbacks.

BA employs 65,000 people worldwide, with the overwhelming majority based in the UK.

The job cuts were revealed by BA chief executive Rod Eddington at a management briefing on Monday morning.

A BA spokesman said the staff reductions were part of an ongoing plan to cut costs.

He said BA had taken 3,000 jobs out of the business in the last financial year through natural wastage.

There will be more job cuts to come in the next financial year as BA seeks to bring costs under control, he added.

"Part of our core strategy is to take costs out of the business and reduce headcount," he added.

Profits down

Operating profits have nearly halved at British Airways, but the airline claims its strategy of focusing on high value customers is starting to pay-off.

BA recorded a pre-tax profit of 40m for the three months to June, compared to a 50m loss for the same quarter last year.

But this year's figure includes the 100m profit the company made when it sold its no-frills airline Go in June.

BA, which employs 58,000 workers in the UK, said it had made clear in the past that it needed to reduce the number of people it employed and tackle costs.

John Edmonds, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "These are devastating losses.

"BA say they are the world's favourite airline - they are certainly not ours."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Symonds
"British Airways says it will be looking to lose staff voluntarily"
See also:

06 Aug 01 | Business
BA profits hit by US slowdown
12 Aug 01 | Business
BA and AA seek US approval
13 Aug 01 | Business
BA 'reviews future' of German unit
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