BA base closure ‘a sad day’ for Scottish aviation

British Airline Pilots Association says decision to shut Edinburgh CityFlyer base is 'bitterly disappointing'.

British Airways’ decision to close its CityFlyer base at Edinburgh Airport is ‘a truly sad day for Scottish aviation”, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said.

The news come just months after BA’s parent company – International Airlines Group – said it would make up to 12,000 workers redundant as revenues plunged due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The CityFlyer base operates short-haul flights from Edinburgh to London City Airport.

A BALPA Spokesperson said: “The news of the closure of the Edinburgh base is bitterly disappointing. Not only is it devastating for those involved but it is also a truly sad day for Scottish aviation.

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“BALPA is focused on doing everything it can to protect as many BA CityFlyer pilot jobs as possible – including voluntary base transfers, voluntary redundancy, pre-retirement wind down, part-time working and extending furlough.”

UK airlines have struggled to cope with the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus crisis, with easyJet, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic all announcing job cuts and reduced operations.

IAG revealed in April that revenues plunged 13% in the first quarter of 2020.

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “We are acting now to protect as many jobs as possible.

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“The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.”

Meanwhile, Unite Scotland has launched a campaign to protect jobs linked to Scottish airports.

The trade union has warned 1500 workers are at risk of redundancy from airlines and companies operating at Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

Scottish airport workers are disproportionately affected by planned job losses, the union has argued, while some face their earnings being cut by up to 45% as airlines fire and rehire on poorer pay and conditions.

The campaign is demanding the furlough scheme for the industry is extended beyond the UK Government’s end date of October 31, as well as an end to the “fire and rehire” proposals for Scottish airport workers.