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20 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Pilot union chief says airlines exaggerating impact of pandemic in order to cut jobs

By Samuel Horti

The head of a union that represents around 85 per cent of all UK commercial pilots has accused airlines of “exaggerating” the damaging effects of the pandemic on their bottom line.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association, said airlines were “egging the pudding too much” so that they could cut jobs “unnecessarily”. 

Airlines including Ryanair and British Airways have announced thousands of job cuts. This morning, Rolls-Royce, which makes jet engines, said it would cut 9,000 jobs. And plane manufacturer Airbus has said aviation could take five years to recover from the crisis.

“The predictions that some of the airline leaders are saying, of up to a five or six-year recovery, is not in line with industry standard predictions,” Strutton told a committee of MPs. “We’re in a trough at the moment, we will be coming out of it over the next two-and-a-half years.”

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