Published on Friday, May 1, 2020

BA parent accused of being 'two-faced' over loans for Spanish airlines

Union bosses have accused British Airways' parent company IAG of being two-faced in its approach to government financial assistance.

The criticism came after it was confirmed that IAG has negotiated €1 billion worth of loans from the Spanish government to help its Spanish airlines, Iberian and Vueling, to offset the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The five-year loans will see Iberia borrowing €750 million and Vueling €260 million.

Under the terms, the money cannot be used to help BA or other airlines in the group.

Meanwhile BA is refusing to seek financial aid from the UK government and is warning that up to 12,000 jobs could be cut, equating to more than a quarter of its workforce.

Unite has previously claimed the job cuts were unlawful and undermined the work Unite and the aviation industry has been doing to secure a financial package from the government for the entire sector.

Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson said: "The fact that Iberian airlines is seeking support from the Spanish government should be welcomed and is a common sense approach to preserving jobs and services, following the immense damage the Covid-19 pandemic has caused to the aviation sector.

"What is concerning is that the parent company IAG is not seeking a similar solution for British Airways.

"This is another gross insult to the UK workforce that BA plans to send to the dole. ~We appeal to IAG to give our members the same support as they are giving to their Spanish employees.

"Rather than seeking to preserve jobs and workers' terms and conditions and act for the good of the UK~aviation sector, British Airways is guilty of an act of smash and grab opportunism.

"This is designed to boost its profits in the future and to try to force other operators out of the UK aviation sector."

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