British Airways ‘will lay-off thousands of cabin crew then re-hire them on HALF PAY’


British Airways are set to lay off thousands of cabin crew and then re-hire them on half pay as part of a huge restructure, a letter to staff has revealed.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh confirmed last week that a consultation on 12,000 job cuts will still go ahead despite the Government extending its furlough scheme until the end of October.

He said the airline will ‘not pause our consultations or put our plans on hold.’

In a letter sent to staff just two weeks ago, BA gave staff new terms and conditions due to the coronavirus crisis which has severely damaged the aviation industry.

British Airways Airbus A380 aircrafts are parked at the Chateauroux-Deols ‘Marcel Dassault’ Airport (CHR) on May 22, 2020 in France

It was reported by the Daily Mirror that staff are also being sent redundancy notices that end on June 15.

BA is reportedly intending to combine all their cabin crew into one group at a lower rate of pay.

At the moment they are separated into short haul, long haul and mixed.

A senior long haul flight attendant based at Heathrow will see enormous cuts in pay of between 50 per cent and 75 per cent.    

One BA employee on Facebook said: ‘On 15th June, I will be made redundant from the job I love after 34 years of loyal service. Redundancy notices are to be issued to 43,000 of my colleagues: the entire workforce. Yep! THE ENTIRE WORKFORCE!

BA employee Michael Orchin posted about the BA redundancies today on Facebook

BA employee Michael Orchin posted about the BA redundancies today on Facebook

‘31,000 ‘lucky’ former employees will then be offered re-employement (sic) on a far inferior contract that the company has wanted to enforce since 2010. For me, this would represent a 50% pay cut.

‘This is to be accompanied by an increase in productivity of 25%, not to mention far inferior T&Cs and, basically, a zero-hours contract.

‘All of this is with a backdrop of our CEO’s bonus of £3.2 million in March this year; he’s been paid £33 million over the last 9 years. For the financial year ’19/’20, the company I work for made a near record-breaking operating profit of £1.9 billion.’ 

BA told The Mirror: ‘We are acting now to protect as many jobs possible. The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines 

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. 

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. 

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. But Ryanair has since said it plans to operate 1,000 flights a day this summer – restoring 40 per cent of its flights from July 1, despite indefinite travel restrictions.

‘We are committed to consulting openly with our unions and our people as we prepare for a new future.’  

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said they ‘cannot tolerate BA using this crisis as cover to impose a long term plan to slash jobs, pay and conditions.’

He added: ‘No other employer has threatened to effectively ‘fire and rehire’ its entire workforce. Meanwhile, BA has paid out billions to shareholders and its taking taxpayers’ money. Over 40,000 loyal BA staff now face the prospect of losing either their livelihoods or potentially being re-interviewed for their own jobs on vastly reduced terms and conditions.

‘If the proposals were about dealing with the Covid crisis why are the company threatening to terminate contracts, including eliminating disciplinary procedures? This will not help the company get through Covid 19. This is nothing more than a cynical act of corporate greed and a betrayal of the BA workforce and Britain.’

Industry figures believe it could take airlines at least three years to return to pre-coronavirus levels, meaning they would not be able to financially support staff while flights remain unfilled.

Others are attempting to preserve cash by offering vouchers to customers, instead of cash, and delaying payments.

It comes after it was revealed last week that Airbus and Tui are set to slash thousands of jobs as planes around the world are grounded.

In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days.

And tour operator Tui warned that up to 8,000 jobs will go at its business following the dramatic collapse in air travel and holiday bookings.

The prospect adds to the misery sweeping travel, aviation and aerospace. Plane maker Boeing is cutting 16,000 jobs while 12,000 staff face the axe at British Airways, 3,000 at Virgin Atlantic and 3,000 at Ryanair.

Warning that the company is ‘bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed’, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury recently said ‘we are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the industry has ever known’.

The company has 135,000 staff worldwide including 13,500 in the UK including in Broughton, North Wales, where it makes wings, and at Filton in Bristol where the wings are designed. A final decision on the job cuts has yet to be made.

But Mr Faury believes it could take three to five years for passengers to be as willing to fly as before the crisis – hammering demand for planes.

International travel restrictions have hit bookings, forcing Tui, which also runs cruises and airlines, to furlough or cut the pay of 90 per cent of its staff.

It has already taken a €1.8billion (£1.6billion) German state loan and ditched the dividend after cancelling most holidays in June.

In the UK, output in travel and tourism halved in March, air travel fell 44 per cent, and accommodation by 45.7 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

British Airways ‘will lay-off thousands of cabin crew then re-hire them on HALF PAY’


British Airways are set to lay off thousands of cabin crew and then re-hire them on half pay as part of a huge restructure, a letter to staff has revealed.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh confirmed last week that a consultation on 12,000 job cuts will still go ahead despite the Government extending its furlough scheme until the end of October.

He said the airline will ‘not pause our consultations or put our plans on hold.’

In a letter sent to staff just two weeks ago, BA gave staff new terms and conditions due to the coronavirus crisis which has severely damaged the aviation industry.

British Airways Airbus A380 aircrafts are parked at the Chateauroux-Deols ‘Marcel Dassault’ Airport (CHR) on May 22, 2020 in France

It was reported by the Daily Mirror that staff are also being sent redundancy notices that end on June 15.

BA is reportedly intending to combine all their cabin crew into one group at a lower rate of pay.

At the moment they are separated into short haul, long haul and mixed.

A senior long haul flight attendant based at Heathrow will see enormous cuts in pay of between 50 per cent and 75 per cent.    

One BA employee on Facebook said: ‘On 15th June, I will be made redundant from the job I love after 34 years of loyal service. Redundancy notices are to be issued to 43,000 of my colleagues: the entire workforce. Yep! THE ENTIRE WORKFORCE!

BA employee Michael Orchin posted about the BA redundancies today on Facebook

BA employee Michael Orchin posted about the BA redundancies today on Facebook

‘31,000 ‘lucky’ former employees will then be offered re-employement (sic) on a far inferior contract that the company has wanted to enforce since 2010. For me, this would represent a 50% pay cut.

‘This is to be accompanied by an increase in productivity of 25%, not to mention far inferior T&Cs and, basically, a zero-hours contract.

‘All of this is with a backdrop of our CEO’s bonus of £3.2 million in March this year; he’s been paid £33 million over the last 9 years. For the financial year ’19/’20, the company I work for made a near record-breaking operating profit of £1.9 billion.’ 

BA told The Mirror: ‘We are acting now to protect as many jobs possible. The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines 

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. 

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. 

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. But Ryanair has since said it plans to operate 1,000 flights a day this summer – restoring 40 per cent of its flights from July 1, despite indefinite travel restrictions.

‘We are committed to consulting openly with our unions and our people as we prepare for a new future.’  

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said they ‘cannot tolerate BA using this crisis as cover to impose a long term plan to slash jobs, pay and conditions.’

He added: ‘No other employer has threatened to effectively ‘fire and rehire’ its entire workforce. Meanwhile, BA has paid out billions to shareholders and its taking taxpayers’ money. Over 40,000 loyal BA staff now face the prospect of losing either their livelihoods or potentially being re-interviewed for their own jobs on vastly reduced terms and conditions.

‘If the proposals were about dealing with the Covid crisis why are the company threatening to terminate contracts, including eliminating disciplinary procedures? This will not help the company get through Covid 19. This is nothing more than a cynical act of corporate greed and a betrayal of the BA workforce and Britain.’

Industry figures believe it could take airlines at least three years to return to pre-coronavirus levels, meaning they would not be able to financially support staff while flights remain unfilled.

Others are attempting to preserve cash by offering vouchers to customers, instead of cash, and delaying payments.

It comes after it was revealed last week that Airbus and Tui are set to slash thousands of jobs as planes around the world are grounded.

In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days.

And tour operator Tui warned that up to 8,000 jobs will go at its business following the dramatic collapse in air travel and holiday bookings.

The prospect adds to the misery sweeping travel, aviation and aerospace. Plane maker Boeing is cutting 16,000 jobs while 12,000 staff face the axe at British Airways, 3,000 at Virgin Atlantic and 3,000 at Ryanair.

Warning that the company is ‘bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed’, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury recently said ‘we are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the industry has ever known’.

The company has 135,000 staff worldwide including 13,500 in the UK including in Broughton, North Wales, where it makes wings, and at Filton in Bristol where the wings are designed. A final decision on the job cuts has yet to be made.

But Mr Faury believes it could take three to five years for passengers to be as willing to fly as before the crisis – hammering demand for planes.

International travel restrictions have hit bookings, forcing Tui, which also runs cruises and airlines, to furlough or cut the pay of 90 per cent of its staff.

It has already taken a €1.8billion (£1.6billion) German state loan and ditched the dividend after cancelling most holidays in June.

In the UK, output in travel and tourism halved in March, air travel fell 44 per cent, and accommodation by 45.7 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

British Airways passengers complain about packed flights in Europe


British Airways passengers have complained about packed flights in Europe and passengers without masks as other airlines make plans to restart flights this summer. 

BA have defended themselves by saying it is ‘personal preference’ whether passengers on board their flights wear facial masks or not and that they are devising new safety procedures for a post coronavirus world. 

The airline industry as a whole is struggling to survive as coronavirus devastates traveler numbers – British Airways has already announced plans to lay off 12,000 staff. 

Operators are struggling to devise ways to ensure social distancing on flights while carrying enough passengers to ensure the survival of their business. BA says its transatlantic flights are quiet enough to ensure social distancing. 

But that has not stopped passengers taking to social media to complain about packed BA flights on the continent with passengers seated directly next to each other and without face masks. 

The UK has not issued guidance for airlines but the European Union Aviation Safety Agency says passengers should be 1.5metres apart and wear masks. 

Passengers arriving in the UK will also be required to quarantine for 14 days under strict restrictions introduced by the government. 

Twitter user Jonathan Gitlin posted images of a packed BA flight from Amsterdam  with passengers seated directly next to each other.

Passengers were also pictured without wearing face masks

What coronavirus safety measures have airlines announced 

British Airways has said it is looking into updating its safety and social distancing measures for when flights resume in July. 

It is not yet clear what this will look like, but the airline has stopped short of enforcing face masks or gloves. 

‘We will adapt our operating procedures to ensure our customers and our people are properly protected in this new environment,’ International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh said.   

Walsh has also said he won’t stop passengers from booking middle-row seats to allow for social distancing. 

‘I don’t see a situation where we will be leaving a middle seat empty. I see a normal return to service where all seats are for sale,’ he said. 

easyJet 

 Easyjet has announced plans to keep the middle seat in empty within banks of three seats to ensure social distancing on its flights

Passenger will also be required to wear masks. 

No food will be served and disinfectant wipes will be available for passengers

Ryanair 

Passengers and crew will be required to wear face masks or face coverings, and pass temperature checks.  

 

‘Via a friend, it seems @British_Airways is squeezing passengers in just like the US airlines. Not everyone is wearing a mask, either,’ Twitter user Jonathan Gitlin wrote. 

British Airways then responded to the tweet by saying: ‘Hi Jonathan, I know this is worrying for everyone, but I’m afraid its personal preference whether our passengers want to wear a mask or not on board? 

‘If I can help with anything else, please feel free to come back to us.’ 

Another Twitter user from Copenhagen replied that it was a similar story in Europe, as he tweeted an image of a full flight, although this time every passenger was wearing a face mask.   

‘Yeah they’re all doing it. Here in Europe too, though it seems wearing a mask is mandatory now. It wasn’t a few weeks ago,’ he wrote. 

BA sources told The Sun that a flight from Amsterdam to Heathrow yesterday was at around 70 per cent capacity. 

‘BA seems to have taken a decision not to bother even trying to social distance passengers. Crew are not wearing masks or gloves on-board,’ a source told the publication. 

British Airways has been running a limited service during the pandemic, serving those who have an essential need to travel, but has stated that it would resume the majority of its flights at a limited capacity from July. 

BA has stopped short of saying it would make safety precautions such as face masks mandatory for passengers. 

Another Twitter user from Copenhagen replied that it was a similar story in Europe, as he tweeted an image of a full flight, although this time every passenger was wearing a face mask

Another Twitter user from Copenhagen replied that it was a similar story in Europe, as he tweeted an image of a full flight, although this time every passenger was wearing a face mask

Meanwhile EasyJet is to restart international and domestic flights on some of its routes from Monday 15 June 2020, after grounding its fleet from March 30. The airline has pledged to enforce new safety measures, such as compulsory face masks 

Budget airline Jet2 confirmed that flights from the UK to destinations across Europe and beyond will resume from the start of July. 

Whizz Air has already started a ‘phase return’ of commercial fights in Europe, with 10 per cent of its fleet. ‘Maybe at the end of May or sometime in June we’ll be at 30 per cent,’ said its CEO Jozsef Varadi. RyanAir has announced plans to  restart 40% of its flights from July. 

Spain’s tourism minister says Brits SHOULD book holidays for July because quarantine rules will ‘likely be suspended’ as French politicians tear into draconian rules

Spain has encouraged British tourists to go ahead and book their summer holidays as lockdown rules are eased.

Reyes Maroto, the country’s tourism minister, said foreigners should plan to arrive from July when rules requiring arrivals to isolate for 14 days will ‘likely be suspended’.

European leaders are desperately hashing out plans to try and salvage the continent’s tourist season amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Maroto spoke after French politicians lashed out at Britain’s decision to bring in a 14-day quarantine for all new arrivals, including returning holidaymakers. 

People enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24, as the country slowly loosens a strict coronavirus lockdown

People enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24, as the country slowly loosens a strict coronavirus lockdown

Two women wearing sports gear practise yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

Two women wearing sports gear practise yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

Two women walk with their paddleboards as people enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach on Sunday

Two women walk with their paddleboards as people enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach on Sunday 

The country’s interior ministry said it ‘regretted’ the decision, which will make it difficult for Britons to take a holiday in Europe.

Ministers from the two countries had been in talks about an ‘air bridge’ that would allow travellers to bypass the rules, but negotiations collapsed.

France and Spain are both due to outline their rules around restarting domestic and international tourism this week. 

Spanish regions that rely on the tourist trade are ramping up their efforts to get foreign visitors back on the beaches as the country eases its lockdown further today. 

In Costa del Sol, an army of 3,000 beach assistants will make sure tourists obey social distancing rules on Spain’s busiest beaches this summer and Mallorca is asking for permission to reopen to tourists earlier than the nationwide target of July. 

In Benidorm the local mayor joined anger at the UK’s plans for a 14-day quarantine for Brits returning from abroad.

The hired workers in Costa Del Sol will also be tasked with preventing overcrowding as hordes of holidaymakers flock to the seaside after the stresses of the last few months.

Juanma Moreno, president of the regional Junta de Andalucia government whose remit includes British favourite the Costa del Sol, announced the pioneering move on Sunday afternoon.

He said the beach assistants would work closely with town-hall employed local police and lifeguards on Spain’s southern beaches.

The area they will be expected to cover stretches from the province of Almeria in the east to Huelva in the west, although a large percentage are expected to be assigned to beaches on the Costa del Sol which is one of Spain’s best-known international stretches of coastline.  

 

Two women wearing face masks practise yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

Two women wearing face masks practise yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

UK quarantine rules  

The government has said that people arriving in the UK from June 8 MUST self-isolate for 14 days to help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measure would ‘reduce the risk of cases crossing our border’. 

People will be required to tell the government where they plan to self-isolate. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measure would 'reduce the risk of cases crossing our border'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measure would ‘reduce the risk of cases crossing our border’

The rule will be enforced by random checks and fines of up to £1000. 

Border Force chief Paul Lincoln said those who did not have their own accommodation to self-isolate in would be provided facilities by the government, at their own expense. 

The announcement sparked a row with British holidaymakers hoping to go abroad this summer, while airlines slammed the new measure as ‘effectively killing air travel’. 

The government is now considering ‘air bridges’ to allow tourists to travel without quarantining to countries that have low infection rates. 

The new measures will be renewed every three weeks from when it is introduced. 

Lorry drivers, seasonal farm workers, and coronavirus medics will be exempt. 

Outside of famous Costa del Sol resorts like Marbella and Torremolinos, Andalucia also includes popular British resorts like Mojacar and the fantastic beaches of Costa de la Luz such as those in Tarifa and Zahara de los Atunes.

The beach assistants will be picked from a list of people who are currently unemployed and were given the chance earlier this year to register for temporary public sector jobs as part of a regional government initiative.

Nearly 600,000 people are registered for seasonal work.

Mr Moreno said their responsibilities would include ‘guaranteeing the safety of beachgoers through surveillance and organising social distancing.’ They will also be tasked with controlling access and limiting the numbers of people on the busiest beaches.

Although they will not be given police powers, the regional government chief said they would be expected to inform police about incidents so officers could intervene if necessary.

Describing the beach assistants as a ‘huge army’, he added: ‘They will enable us to organise in a planned way the opening of our beaches this summer.’ Mr Moreno revealed his new plans for Spain’s southern beaches after the country’s PM Pedro Sanchez said foreign tourists would be welcomed back from July.

It comes as Coronavirus lockdown measures are being eased for people in Madrid and Barcelona from today, while elsewhere in Spain the first beaches are due to reopen.

Residents from the two cities are now allowed to meet up in groups of ten, in their homes or on restaurant and bar terraces. 

Mr Sanchez said in a live televised address on Saturday: ‘Spain receives more than 80 million visitors each year.

‘That’s why I’m announcing to you that from the month of July the entry of international tourism to Spain will restart in safety.

‘Foreign tourists can now start planning their holidays here.’ Earlier Juan Marin, vice-president of the Junta de Andalucia, said rapid Covid-19 tests on foreign tourists could be the way forward for the recovery of the International holiday market.

He told a Spanish radio station the country had to compete on a level playing field with competitor nations like Portugal and Italy, warning: ‘If we miss out this summer, we’ll be facing a frozen winter.’ 

Many Spanish town halls have already indicated social distancing through limits on the number of tourists who can enjoy their beaches, will be top of their list of priorities.

A woman practises yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

A woman practises yoga at dawn at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

A police officer stands guard as a woman walks along La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

A police officer stands guard as a woman walks along La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga on May 23. Spain said it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league football in the coming weeks, accelerating Europe's exit from strict virus lockdown

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga on May 23. Spain said it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league football in the coming weeks, accelerating Europe’s exit from strict virus lockdown

The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers.

Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches.

Travellers entering Spain are currently being forced to quarantine for 14 days but the order will be lifted when the country ends its current state of emergency at the end of June at the latest unless there is a dramatic change in the health situation.

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga. The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach in Malaga. The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach. Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches

People enjoy a night out on Pedregalejo Beach. Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches

A man sunbathes as people enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

A man sunbathes as people enjoy a morning out at La Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona on May 24

Benidorm mayor Toni Perez has added his voice to the chorus of concern over the British government’s quarantine rules.

Mr Perez spoke out after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez said foreign holidaymakers would be welcomed back from July after its current quarantine rules on people arriving in the country are lifted.

His message was described as ‘very positive’ by influential Spanish tourist group Exceltur.

The mayor of British favourite Benidorm also welcomed Mr Sanchez’s comments, but admitted the UK quarantine was a concern. 

Under plans announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday, anyone reaching the UK from June 8 will have to self-isolate for 14 days or risk POUNDS 1,000 fines. The new rules will apply to returning holidaymakers.

Ms Patel described the measures as ‘temporary’ but said they would be reviewed every three weeks, meaning any extension beyond the initial three-week period would make it impractical for most Britons to take a foreign break.

Spain is the top destination for British tourists, with around 18 million people from the UK visiting the country normally every year.

Benidorm – made even more famous by the hit ITV comedy series of the same name – has an area known as Little England.

British visitors to the resort outnumber every other nationality apart from the Spanish.

Four out of every ten of its holidaymakers come from the UK.

Mr Perez said: ‘Benidorm has been working for weeks now to make sure it is a safe resort this summer.

‘It’s not just important that Benidorm and Spain are safe destinations but also that the countries tourists come from are safe as well.

‘We’re keeping on a close eye on the evolution of the health situation in the neighbouring countries of France and Portugal.

‘But we’re also keeping a close eye on our most important market which is the UK and which is the country that is therefore of most concern to us.

‘The quarantine the British government has announced, which will be revised after three weeks and includes high fines for people who flout the rules, is causing a lot of uncertainty.

‘No-one knows how long it could last and that is having an effect on last-minute holiday reservations and cancellations and that is something that is worrying us.’ 

Yesterday influential Spanish tourist group Exceltur called on the Spanish government to give the UK priority in safe ‘air corridor’ negotiations designed to pave the way for a British return to the Costas this summer.

Exceltur’s vice-president Jose Luis Zoreda called the Spanish PM’s invitation to foreign holidaymakers to pick Spain from July ‘very positive.’ 

He said: ‘This kickstarts British and German tour operators because they now know they can operate in July if all goes well.’ 

Telling Catalan daily El Periodico that Britain, which accounted for more than 18 million of Spain’s foreign tourists last year, and Germany should be priority countries in ‘safe corridor’ negotiations, he added: ‘The speech Pedro Sanchez made was very positive because he committed to a date with enough time for potential tourists to book holidays here, and because of the message it sends that the Prime Minister of a country is welcoming back foreign visitors.

‘The common denominator will not be nationality but the corridors.’ 

Saying he thought it was unlikely EU-wide agreements on re-opening borders could be reached by July, he added: ‘We have to get going to establish these bilateral corridors and agreements.’ 

Many Spanish town halls have already indicated social distancing through limits on the number of tourists who can enjoy their beaches, will be top of their list of priorities.

The Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola has said it will use artificial intelligence to control numbers.

Authorities in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava have said they intend to put different age groups in different areas of their beaches.

Travellers entering Spain are currently being forced to quarantine for 14 days but the order will be lifted when the country ends its current state of emergency at the end of June at the latest, unless there is a dramatic change in the health situation.

Additional measures like temperature checks at airports for foreign tourists who jet to Spain in July are also being studied.

Juan Marin, vice-president of the Junta de Andalucia which is the regional government responsible for areas like the Brit-popular Costa del Sol, insisted on Sunday that rapid Covid-19 tests on foreign tourists could be the way forward for the recovery of the International holiday market.

He told a Spanish radio station the country had to compete on a level playing field with competitor nations like Portugal and Italy, warning: ‘If we miss out this summer, we’ll be facing a frozen winter.’ 

Teresa Ribera, one of the Spanish government’s vice-presidents, has said ‘safe corridors’ will ‘probably’ be applied along the same lines as peoples’ movements between regions as part of a national tourism scheme.

Senior BA crew ‘face 55% pay cut’ as more than 47,000 passengers await refunds 


Senior British Airways cabin crew are facing a staggering 55 per cent pay cut with salaries slashed to £24,000 in yet another blow to the airline industry. 

Airline bosses wrote to employees outlining the new salaries after sacking 12,000 staff and ripping up contracts, The Sun reported.

One employee slammed the cost-cutting measure and said: ‘We are appalled’.

The news comes as almost 50,000 British Airways customers are still owed refunds despite the airline suspending most flights in March.

Cabin crew numbers will be nearly halved from 1,860 to 971 and main crew numbers have been cut from 12,402 to 8,591 as the airline grapples to stay afloat amid strict travel restrictions. 

Willie Walsh, boss of its Spanish parent company, has also revealed that 921,000 tickets for 2.1million flights were refunded in cash – but 346,000 customers accepted a credit voucher for a future flight.    

But there are still 47,400 people who are yet to see their money two months after the coronavirus crisis began. 

Thousands of British holidaymakers are owed up to £7billion for trips cancelled because of the global coronavirus pandemic with banks and airlines accused of flouting the law by refusing refunds.

There is growing anger that the Government has not intervened when lenders and travel firms are illegally withholding cash that should be paid within a week for flights and 14 days for package deals.

It came as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the proposed two-week quarantine for people arriving in the UK and said: ‘It seems fair and right that if we are asking the British people to stay at home and make such huge sacrifices in their own lives, then we would expect anybody coming back to the country to do the same thing’.

BA has grounded most of its fleet but is still to refund all the customers for their tickets with 47,000 still waiting

The Competition and Markets Authority has revealed that four out of five complaints it is getting every day is from British consumers being denied travel refunds and the UK watchdog will soon announce a new crackdown.    

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. Flybe’s owners, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and hedge fund firm Cyrus Capital, blamed coronavirus for hastening the ailing airline’s collapse. Flybe operated up to 50 UK routes, accounting for 40 per cent of all domestic flights, and was used by 9.5million passengers a year.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Loganair will go to the government despite being told by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last week that airlines should exhaust all other options for funding, before asking for help.

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. 

Airlines including BA, easyJet, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and TUI have been accused of effectively breaking the law by pushing customers to accept credit-note vouchers which have little consumer protection and could prove worthless if a carrier went bust.  

Willie Walsh has also confirmed 12,000 job cuts at the airline will still go ahead despite the Government extending its furlough scheme until the end of October.

IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh told MPs on Monday, before the extension announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, that he was not ‘picking on’ British Airways.

Instead, he explained, the timing of the decision was due to the UK’s labour laws, which mean staff must be given a 45-day consultation period ahead of any redundancies.

But Mr Walsh’s IAG, which also owns airlines including Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on Wednesday the redundancy consultation will continue, after he was asked to put it on hold.

He wrote: ‘I was pleased to see the announcement by the Chancellor that the CJRS (furlough scheme) is being extended.

‘We commend the Chancellor for his decision and applaud his efforts to breathe some life into a dying economy.

‘His actions will provide some additional relief to our people and our business.

‘However, we must act now to secure the maximum number of jobs possible, consistent with the reality of a structurally changed airline industry in a severely weakened global economy.

‘I want to confirm therefore that we will not pause our consultations or put our plans on hold.’

On Monday in evidence to the Transport Committee, he said the redundancies were at BA because ‘the labour legislation in Ireland and Spain – the two other major countries in which we operate – it’s different. We’re required to do it in a different way’.

Committee chairman Huw Merriman said that while it is clear the aviation sector ‘is on its knees right now’, the extension of the Government’s furlough scheme until October would allow BA employees to keep their jobs despite most flights being grounded.

Airbus and Tui are set to slash thousands of jobs as planes around the world are grounded.

The Airline industry has been trashed by the lockdown with BA now only flying from Heathrow (pictured) after shutting its Gatwick operation

The Airline industry has been trashed by the lockdown with BA now only flying from Heathrow (pictured) after shutting its Gatwick operation

In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days.

And tour operator Tui warned that up to 8,000 jobs will go at its business following the dramatic collapse in air travel and holiday bookings.

The prospect adds to the misery sweeping travel, aviation and aerospace. Plane maker Boeing is cutting 16,000 jobs while 12,000 staff face the axe at British Airways, 3,000 at Virgin Atlantic and 3,000 at Ryanair.

Speedway rider is among thousands recruited by Amazon after losing their jobs during the crisis  

Online giant Amazon has recruited thousands of staff as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, including workers who have lost their jobs in recent weeks in sectors ranging from education to travel and tourism.

More than 15,000 full and part-time positions have been filled across Amazon’s fulfilment and logistics network.

New recruits range from an arborist, architect, beautician and lifeguard to a pilot, scientists, a singer and tattooists.

Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon’s site in Doncaster.

Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon's site in Doncaster

Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon’s site in Doncaster

He said: ‘Due to Covid-19, speedway throughout Europe was cancelled in late March along with most other professional sports.

‘The closing of the competition has resulted in my sponsors withdrawing from the sport, as well as losing my performance-based wages which were gained through race finishing positions.

‘I’ve never worked in a warehouse before but I like it because it’s always busy.

‘Everyone is really friendly and it’s great to work with such a diverse group.

‘I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked how a guy from California ended up in Doncaster, but I like Doncaster a lot.

‘It’s given me a goal and got me out of the house, as well as provided a nice income to keep things turning over, removing a lot of the stress I was facing before.’

Anne Herzog, who previously worked as a barista at international conferences, is now at Amazon’s Peterborough fulfilment centre.

She said: ‘Conferences were being cancelled one after the other and I’m just not used to sitting at home – there’s only so much relaxing you can enjoy.’ 

Micha Boon, who runs a YouTube travel channel, works at a fulfilment centre in Peterborough

Micha Boon, who runs a YouTube travel channel, works at a fulfilment centre in Peterborough 

Senior BA crew ‘face 55% pay cut’ as more than 47,000 passengers await refunds 


Senior British Airways cabin crew are facing a staggering 55 per cent pay cut with salaries slashed to £24,000 in yet another blow to the airline industry. 

Airline bosses wrote to employees outlining the new salaries after sacking 12,000 staff and ripping up contracts, The Sun reported.

One employee slammed the cost-cutting measure and said: ‘We are appalled’.

The news comes as almost 50,000 British Airways customers are still owed refunds despite the airline suspending most flights in March.

Cabin crew numbers will be nearly halved from 1,860 to 971 and main crew numbers have been cut from 12,402 to 8,591 as the airline grapples to stay afloat amid strict travel restrictions. 

Willie Walsh, boss of its Spanish parent company, has also revealed that 921,000 tickets for 2.1million flights were refunded in cash – but 346,000 customers accepted a credit voucher for a future flight.    

But there are still 47,400 people who are yet to see their money two months after the coronavirus crisis began. 

Thousands of British holidaymakers are owed up to £7billion for trips cancelled because of the global coronavirus pandemic with banks and airlines accused of flouting the law by refusing refunds.

There is growing anger that the Government has not intervened when lenders and travel firms are illegally withholding cash that should be paid within a week for flights and 14 days for package deals.

It came as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the proposed two-week quarantine for people arriving in the UK and said: ‘It seems fair and right that if we are asking the British people to stay at home and make such huge sacrifices in their own lives, then we would expect anybody coming back to the country to do the same thing’.

BA has grounded most of its fleet but is still to refund all the customers for their tickets with 47,000 still waiting

The Competition and Markets Authority has revealed that four out of five complaints it is getting every day is from British consumers being denied travel refunds and the UK watchdog will soon announce a new crackdown.    

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. Flybe’s owners, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and hedge fund firm Cyrus Capital, blamed coronavirus for hastening the ailing airline’s collapse. Flybe operated up to 50 UK routes, accounting for 40 per cent of all domestic flights, and was used by 9.5million passengers a year.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Loganair will go to the government despite being told by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last week that airlines should exhaust all other options for funding, before asking for help.

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. 

Airlines including BA, easyJet, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and TUI have been accused of effectively breaking the law by pushing customers to accept credit-note vouchers which have little consumer protection and could prove worthless if a carrier went bust.  

Willie Walsh has also confirmed 12,000 job cuts at the airline will still go ahead despite the Government extending its furlough scheme until the end of October.

IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh told MPs on Monday, before the extension announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, that he was not ‘picking on’ British Airways.

Instead, he explained, the timing of the decision was due to the UK’s labour laws, which mean staff must be given a 45-day consultation period ahead of any redundancies.

But Mr Walsh’s IAG, which also owns airlines including Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on Wednesday the redundancy consultation will continue, after he was asked to put it on hold.

He wrote: ‘I was pleased to see the announcement by the Chancellor that the CJRS (furlough scheme) is being extended.

‘We commend the Chancellor for his decision and applaud his efforts to breathe some life into a dying economy.

‘His actions will provide some additional relief to our people and our business.

‘However, we must act now to secure the maximum number of jobs possible, consistent with the reality of a structurally changed airline industry in a severely weakened global economy.

‘I want to confirm therefore that we will not pause our consultations or put our plans on hold.’

On Monday in evidence to the Transport Committee, he said the redundancies were at BA because ‘the labour legislation in Ireland and Spain – the two other major countries in which we operate – it’s different. We’re required to do it in a different way’.

Committee chairman Huw Merriman said that while it is clear the aviation sector ‘is on its knees right now’, the extension of the Government’s furlough scheme until October would allow BA employees to keep their jobs despite most flights being grounded.

Airbus and Tui are set to slash thousands of jobs as planes around the world are grounded.

The Airline industry has been trashed by the lockdown with BA now only flying from Heathrow (pictured) after shutting its Gatwick operation

The Airline industry has been trashed by the lockdown with BA now only flying from Heathrow (pictured) after shutting its Gatwick operation

In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days.

And tour operator Tui warned that up to 8,000 jobs will go at its business following the dramatic collapse in air travel and holiday bookings.

The prospect adds to the misery sweeping travel, aviation and aerospace. Plane maker Boeing is cutting 16,000 jobs while 12,000 staff face the axe at British Airways, 3,000 at Virgin Atlantic and 3,000 at Ryanair.

Speedway rider is among thousands recruited by Amazon after losing their jobs during the crisis  

Online giant Amazon has recruited thousands of staff as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, including workers who have lost their jobs in recent weeks in sectors ranging from education to travel and tourism.

More than 15,000 full and part-time positions have been filled across Amazon’s fulfilment and logistics network.

New recruits range from an arborist, architect, beautician and lifeguard to a pilot, scientists, a singer and tattooists.

Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon’s site in Doncaster.

Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon's site in Doncaster

Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon’s site in Doncaster

He said: ‘Due to Covid-19, speedway throughout Europe was cancelled in late March along with most other professional sports.

‘The closing of the competition has resulted in my sponsors withdrawing from the sport, as well as losing my performance-based wages which were gained through race finishing positions.

‘I’ve never worked in a warehouse before but I like it because it’s always busy.

‘Everyone is really friendly and it’s great to work with such a diverse group.

‘I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked how a guy from California ended up in Doncaster, but I like Doncaster a lot.

‘It’s given me a goal and got me out of the house, as well as provided a nice income to keep things turning over, removing a lot of the stress I was facing before.’

Anne Herzog, who previously worked as a barista at international conferences, is now at Amazon’s Peterborough fulfilment centre.

She said: ‘Conferences were being cancelled one after the other and I’m just not used to sitting at home – there’s only so much relaxing you can enjoy.’ 

Micha Boon, who runs a YouTube travel channel, works at a fulfilment centre in Peterborough

Micha Boon, who runs a YouTube travel channel, works at a fulfilment centre in Peterborough 

More than 47,000 British Airways passengers are waiting for refunds


Almost 50,000 British Airways customers are still owed refunds despite the airline suspending most flights in March, it was revealed today.

Willie Walsh, boss of its Spanish parent company, has also revealed that 921,000 tickets for 2.1million flights were refunded in cash – but 346,000 customers accepted a credit voucher for a future flight.    

But there are still 47,400 people who are yet to see their money two months after the coronavirus crisis began. 

Thousands of British holidaymakers are owed up to £7billion for trips cancelled because of the global coronavirus pandemic with banks and airlines accused of flouting the law by refusing refunds.

There is growing anger that the Government has not intervened when lenders and travel firms are illegally withholding cash that should be paid within a week for flights and 14 days for package deals.

It came as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the proposed two-week quarantine for people arriving in the UK and said: ‘It seems fair and right that if we are asking the British people to stay at home and make such huge sacrifices in their own lives, then we would expect anybody coming back to the country to do the same thing’.

BA has grounded most of its fleet but is still to refund all the customers for their tickets with 47,000 still waiting

The Competition and Markets Authority has revealed that four out of five complaints it is getting every day is from British consumers being denied travel refunds and the UK watchdog will soon announce a new crackdown.    

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. Flybe’s owners, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and hedge fund firm Cyrus Capital, blamed coronavirus for hastening the ailing airline’s collapse. Flybe operated up to 50 UK routes, accounting for 40 per cent of all domestic flights, and was used by 9.5million passengers a year.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Loganair will go to the government despite being told by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last week that airlines should exhaust all other options for funding, before asking for help.

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. 

Airlines including BA, easyJet, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and TUI have been accused of effectively breaking the law by pushing customers to accept credit-note vouchers which have little consumer protection and could prove worthless if a carrier went bust.  

Willie Walsh has also confirmed 12,000 job cuts at the airline will still go ahead despite the Government extending its furlough scheme until the end of October.

IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh told MPs on Monday, before the extension announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, that he was not ‘picking on’ British Airways.

Instead, he explained, the timing of the decision was due to the UK’s labour laws, which mean staff must be given a 45-day consultation period ahead of any redundancies.

But Mr Walsh’s IAG, which also owns airlines including Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on Wednesday the redundancy consultation will continue, after he was asked to put it on hold.

He wrote: ‘I was pleased to see the announcement by the Chancellor that the CJRS (furlough scheme) is being extended.

‘We commend the Chancellor for his decision and applaud his efforts to breathe some life into a dying economy.

‘His actions will provide some additional relief to our people and our business.

‘However, we must act now to secure the maximum number of jobs possible, consistent with the reality of a structurally changed airline industry in a severely weakened global economy.

‘I want to confirm therefore that we will not pause our consultations or put our plans on hold.’

On Monday in evidence to the Transport Committee, he said the redundancies were at BA because ‘the labour legislation in Ireland and Spain – the two other major countries in which we operate – it’s different. We’re required to do it in a different way’.

Committee chairman Huw Merriman said that while it is clear the aviation sector ‘is on its knees right now’, the extension of the Government’s furlough scheme until October would allow BA employees to keep their jobs despite most flights being grounded.

Airbus and Tui are set to slash thousands of jobs as planes around the world are grounded.

The Airline industry has been trashed by the lockdown with BA now only flying from Heathrow (pictured) after shutting its Gatwick operation

The Airline industry has been trashed by the lockdown with BA now only flying from Heathrow (pictured) after shutting its Gatwick operation

In a further sign of the damage the coronavirus outbreak is doing to business, aircraft maker Airbus stands ready to axe more than 10,000 staff, possibly within days.

And tour operator Tui warned that up to 8,000 jobs will go at its business following the dramatic collapse in air travel and holiday bookings.

The prospect adds to the misery sweeping travel, aviation and aerospace. Plane maker Boeing is cutting 16,000 jobs while 12,000 staff face the axe at British Airways, 3,000 at Virgin Atlantic and 3,000 at Ryanair.

Holiday Guru investigates claiming refunds for Airbnb bookings and BA flights and quarantine rules


From claiming refunds for Airbnb and British Airways bookings to quarantine rules when travelling to Europe: The Holiday Guru solves travel queries

The Holiday Guru is always on call to answer your questions. 

This week, the issues tackled are how to claim refunds on accommodation booked through Airbnb and booking.com, how to get money back on a British Airways flight and if quarantines will apply when travelling to France and Germany this summer.  

Q. We booked a holiday in Portugal, staying in Porto with booking.com and then Lisbon at an Airbnb. Our flights have been cancelled, but I can’t get full refunds for the accommodation. Can I claim on travel insurance?

Paul Roach, via email.

One reader, who has booked a break to Porto, pictured, and Lisbon wants to know if he can claim on his travel insurance for refunds for accommodation booked via Airbnb and booking.com

A. Yes, if you have ‘travel disruption’ cover, though your insurer may ask that you prove that you have already attempted to receive refunds.

With accommodation websites, rules can vary by country and host, and also depend on dates.

Airbnb’s ‘Extenuating circumstances’ online page covers this, as does booking.com’s ‘Coronavirus FAQs’ page.

One of the pitfalls of booking flights and accommodation separately is that you may have to fall back on such small print — whereas paying for an Atol-protected package through a travel firm would provide financial protection. Good luck.

Q. We have British Airways flights to Athens booked for June. The outbound flight has been cancelled, but not the return flight. We have arranged a hotel through booking.com – what can we do about refunds?

John Ransom, Southsea.

One traveller wants to know how to claim a refund on flights and accommodation for a holiday in Athens, pictured

One traveller wants to know how to claim a refund on flights and accommodation for a holiday in Athens, pictured 

A. It’s best to wait for BA to cancel the return leg, then call 0800 727 800 and accept an eVoucher or a refund. Regarding your hotel, I hope the answer to the previous question helps.

Q. We have booked to stay in an apartment in Germany in August. We are travelling by car via a Dover/Calais ferry. Will any quarantines apply then? If so, should I cancel?

Terry Wright, via email.

A. No one knows when quarantines will be lifted. It may be prudent to cancel.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Please send them to [email protected] — and include your contact details.

Coronavirus UK: BA pilots may work for RAF as airline struggles


British Airways pilots could be seconded to the RAF for up to four years as airline faces struggle for survival in coronavirus lockdown

  • Pilots facing losing their jobs with the airline could temporarily work in RAF roles
  • The union is in talks with the RAF because of the hit the travel industry has taken 
  • It depends on whether BA will take pilots back after completed secondments
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

BA pilots who face losing their jobs because of the coronavirus lockdown could be given temporary RAF roles.  

The pilots’ union BALPA is in talks with the air force to send pilots into RAF roles for up to four years. 

BA and the RAF have had a working relationship for years where military pilots have joined the commercial airline. 

But the devastation that the coronavirus lockdown has caused the travel industry has reversed these roles. 

‘The RAF will select individuals based on suitability, including background, relevant experience, and qualifications,’ BAPLA said in a memo sent to BA pilots. 

BA pilots who are facing losing their jobs could do secondments with the RAF if the BA agrees to welcome them back afterwards. Pictured: RAF T2 two-seat trainer aircrafts

The memo also said that, unlike before, the RAF would also at pilots without any military background. 

They have discussed secondments between 18 and 48 months but any final plans depend on BA’s willingness to welcome pilots back to the commercial airline after secondments are completed. 

‘BALPA has entered urgent negotiations with British Airways about its proposed job losses and the company has yet to justify the scale of its planned cuts. We will fight to save as many of those jobs as we can,’ said BAPLA. 

In April BA said it might have to make 12,000 employees redundant including more than 1,100 BA pilots which is why the union is looking at other options. 

BA is looking at making 12,000 employees redundant including over 1,100 pilots which is why the union is looking at other options. Pictured: Stock photo of a BA commercial plane

BA is looking at making 12,000 employees redundant including over 1,100 pilots which is why the union is looking at other options. Pictured: Stock photo of a BA commercial plane 

‘BALPA is exploring all avenues to ensure its members are not dumped by the company and left with no options, the union said. 

BALPA and the RAF have discussed both flying jobs and jobs on the ground for suitable BA pilots. 

‘The success of any scheme like this will be dependent on BA’s willingness to negotiate suitable terms with BALPA,’ they said. 

As well as BALPA the RAF are also in talks with other aviation firms like GKN Aerospace, British Aerospace and Ascent about potential secondments.

The RAF said: ‘The Royal Air Force are always interested in recruiting high quality people and are currently in initial discussions with the UK aviation industry on the possibility of employing suitable available personnel.’

BA did not wish to comment. 

A BA pilot got a new job as a Tesco delivery driver 

By Rory Tingle

A British Airways pilot out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic has started a new job as a Tesco delivery driver.

Peter Login was saluted for his temporary change of career as he ditched Boeing 747s for a Mercedes Sprinter to drop off food to Britons in coronavirus lockdown.

BA has grounded all flights at Gatwick and dramatically cut its services at Heathrow, while pilots have been hit with a 50% pay cut for three months and told to take two weeks of unpaid leave in both April and May. 

British Airways pilot Peter Login with his partner, Marianne Whiston. They met while working for Thomas Cook, which is when they are pictured

British Airways pilot Peter Login with his partner, Marianne Whiston. They met while working for Thomas Cook, which is when they are pictured 

Mr Login behind the wheel of his Tesco delivery van

A photo of him while he was still a pilot

Mr Login behind the wheel of his Tesco delivery van (left) and while still working as a pilot (right)

BA has furloughed 36,000 of its 45,000-strong workforce, including cabin and ground crew, engineers and office staff, who will now receive 80% of their pay from the government.

The airline has axed all its flights to and from Gatwick Airport and London City – with a severely reduced schedule from Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

BA boss Alex Cruz also revealed that he won’t take a salary for two months.

How coronavirus has affected UK airlines

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. Flybe’s owners, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and hedge fund firm Cyrus Capital, blamed coronavirus for hastening the ailing airline’s collapse. Flybe operated up to 50 UK routes, accounting for 40 per cent of all domestic flights, and was used by 9.5million passengers a year.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Loganair will go to the government despite being told by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last week that airlines should exhaust all other options for funding, before asking for help.

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights.

British Airways wants ALL staff not laid off to sign new ‘zero hour’ contracts


British Airways has asked all staff to sign new ‘zero hour’ contracts that would allow the airline to lay them off without negotiations, it has been reported. 

The beleaguered carrier has already announced plans to send 12,000 workers ‘to the dole’ owing to the coronavirus crisis, and warned it may end operations at Gatwick, London City Airport and even Heathrow. 

Its Spanish owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), has sought a £900million loan from Madrid for its Spanish-based operations Iberian Airways and Vueling.

However, it has not asked London for a similar bailout. It is thought that this may be in a bid to force other companies out of the UK market. 

Unite the Union ordered legal proceedings against the airline yesterday, and demanded that the business supports its UK workers.

British Airways has reportedly asked staff to sign the contracts as it operates less than five per cent of its normal schedule. BA planes are pictured parked in Bournemouth, Dorset

It has revealed plans to lay off a quarter of its workforce, and has furloughed more than half. The planes are pictured above parked at Bournemouth airport

It has revealed plans to lay off a quarter of its workforce, and has furloughed more than half. The planes are pictured above parked at Bournemouth airport

Airlines have been hit hard by the crisis - prompting analysts to warn the industry may implode. Pictured above is empty Heathrow airport

Airlines have been hit hard by the crisis – prompting analysts to warn the industry may implode. Pictured above is empty Heathrow airport

BA’s plan to change staff contracts was reported by The Sun on Sunday, with union leaders fearing employees may be railroaded into the agreement.

Unite’s national officer for aviation, Oliver Richardson, accused BA of ‘smash and grab’ opportunism on Friday.

He said that while the parent company’s actions to seek a bailout in Spain were to be welcomed, it was ‘concerning’ a similar deal was not being sought in Britain.

‘This is another gross insult to the UK workforce that BA plans to send to the dole,’ he said.

‘Rather than seeking to preserve jobs and workers’ terms and conditions and act for the good of the UK aviation sector, BA is guilty of smash and grab opportunism.’

Coronavirus has also seen passengers kept away from Gatwick airport, pictured, as international travel is suspended

Coronavirus has also seen passengers kept away from Gatwick airport, pictured, as international travel is suspended

Unite the Union launched legal action against BA yesterday and called on the airline to seek a bailout for its UK workers. So far its owner has only done that for workers in Spain

Unite the Union launched legal action against BA yesterday and called on the airline to seek a bailout for its UK workers. So far its owner has only done that for workers in Spain

A leaked memo to BALPA this week revealed the airline is considering stopping its last remaining flights out of Heathrow. It has already suspended Gatwick and London City flights

A leaked memo to BALPA this week revealed the airline is considering stopping its last remaining flights out of Heathrow. It has already suspended Gatwick and London City flights

BA’s 12,000 lay offs represent a quarter of its workforce and come after the airline furloughed more than half of its 45,000 workers.

How coronavirus has affected airlines in the UK over the past month

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. Flybe’s owners, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and hedge fund firm Cyrus Capital, blamed coronavirus for hastening the ailing airline’s collapse. Flybe operated up to 50 UK routes, accounting for 40 per cent of all domestic flights, and was used by 9.5million passengers a year.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Loganair will go to the government despite being told by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last week that airlines should exhaust all other options for funding, before asking for help.

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. 

Under the plans the airline would cut 1,130 captain and co-pilot jobs from its headcount of 4,346.

In a leaked memo to BALPA, reported by the BBC, the airline warned it may be forced to suspend the few services it still runs out of Heathrow as there are ‘no clear signs of improvement in air passenger demand’.

‘We have not ruled out suspending the remainder of our Heathrow operation,’ it said.

‘In the last week, we operated fewer than five per cent of our normal schedule.

‘Our Gatwick and London City operations are now closed and there is no certainty as to when these can return.’ 

Its CEO, Alex Cruz, wrote to staff on April 28 that the airline is having to prepare for a ‘new future’. 

There have also been rumours that the airline could pull out of Gatwick and London City airport.

However, the BALPA union’s general secretary, Brian Struttion, said: ‘As far as BALPA are aware there is no truth in the rumour that BA will pull out of Gatwick and there has been no indication of that from BA to us. However, it is on our list of questions to ask them.’

Airlines worldwide have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has seen air travel plummet to near-zero levels as nations impose lockdowns to stem the spread of the disease.

The UK government has turned to Morgan Stanley for advice on packages that could help to keep Britain’s once leading airline sector afloat, following warnings the industry could implode.

EasyJet, Jet2 and Loganair have all grounded their aircrafts as the companies attempt to sit out the pandemic.

Ryanair has also pulled its fleet out of the sky, and announced that it doesn’t expect passenger numbers to tick back up to pre-crisis levels until at least 2022.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary also warned planes would stay on the ground until ‘at least July’.

Wizz Air has announced it was looking to re-start some flights to Spain, Portugal and eastern Europe this month, before saying it would also need a bailout from UK authorities.

Virgin Atlantic has also sought a bailout from the UK government. It is 51 per cent owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and 49 per cent owned by US airline Delta.

The British government has so far been wary of bailing out travel companies and in March allowed regional carrier Flybe to collapse, which became one of the first big corporate casualties of the outbreak.

British Airways planes pictured sitting stationary above at London Gatwick Airport, Crawley

British Airways planes pictured sitting stationary above at London Gatwick Airport, Crawley

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said it was exploring all available options to obtain additional external credit, adding it was working with Houlihan Lokey on private sector funding and ongoing discussions with stakeholders were ‘constructive’.

Meanwhile, Branson and the Virgin Group were committed to the airline and were not looking to sell it, a representative for the group said on Friday.

BA said: ‘We can’t comment further while we consult with our unions.’ 

British Airways wants ALL staff not laid off to sign new ‘zero hour’ contracts


British Airways has asked all staff to sign new ‘zero hour’ contracts that would allow the airline to lay them off without negotiations, it has been reported. 

The beleaguered carrier has already announced plans to send 12,000 workers ‘to the dole’ owing to the coronavirus crisis, and warned it may end operations at Gatwick, London City Airport and even Heathrow. 

Its Spanish owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), has sought a £900million loan from Madrid for its Spanish-based operations Iberian Airways and Vueling.

However, it has not asked London for a similar bailout. It is thought that this may be in a bid to force other companies out of the UK market. 

Unite the Union ordered legal proceedings against the airline yesterday, and demanded that the business supports its UK workers.

British Airways has reportedly asked staff to sign the contracts as it operates less than five per cent of its normal schedule. BA planes are pictured parked in Bournemouth, Dorset

It has revealed plans to lay off a quarter of its workforce, and has furloughed more than half. The planes are pictured above parked at Bournemouth airport

It has revealed plans to lay off a quarter of its workforce, and has furloughed more than half. The planes are pictured above parked at Bournemouth airport

Airlines have been hit hard by the crisis - prompting analysts to warn the industry may implode. Pictured above is empty Heathrow airport

Airlines have been hit hard by the crisis – prompting analysts to warn the industry may implode. Pictured above is empty Heathrow airport

BA’s plan to change staff contracts was reported by The Sun on Sunday, with union leaders fearing employees may be railroaded into the agreement.

Unite’s national officer for aviation, Oliver Richardson, accused BA of ‘smash and grab’ opportunism on Friday.

He said that while the parent company’s actions to seek a bailout in Spain were to be welcomed, it was ‘concerning’ a similar deal was not being sought in Britain.

‘This is another gross insult to the UK workforce that BA plans to send to the dole,’ he said.

‘Rather than seeking to preserve jobs and workers’ terms and conditions and act for the good of the UK aviation sector, BA is guilty of smash and grab opportunism.’

Coronavirus has also seen passengers kept away from Gatwick airport, pictured, as international travel is suspended

Coronavirus has also seen passengers kept away from Gatwick airport, pictured, as international travel is suspended

Unite the Union launched legal action against BA yesterday and called on the airline to seek a bailout for its UK workers. So far its owner has only done that for workers in Spain

Unite the Union launched legal action against BA yesterday and called on the airline to seek a bailout for its UK workers. So far its owner has only done that for workers in Spain

A leaked memo to BALPA this week revealed the airline is considering stopping its last remaining flights out of Heathrow. It has already suspended Gatwick and London City flights

A leaked memo to BALPA this week revealed the airline is considering stopping its last remaining flights out of Heathrow. It has already suspended Gatwick and London City flights

BA’s 12,000 lay offs represent a quarter of its workforce and come after the airline furloughed more than half of its 45,000 workers.

How coronavirus has affected airlines in the UK over the past month

Flybe: Europe’s largest regional airline collapsed on March 5 after months on the brink, triggering 2,400 job losses and left around 15,000 passengers stranded across the UK and Europe. Flybe’s owners, a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and hedge fund firm Cyrus Capital, blamed coronavirus for hastening the ailing airline’s collapse. Flybe operated up to 50 UK routes, accounting for 40 per cent of all domestic flights, and was used by 9.5million passengers a year.

British Airways: The International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus, said on March 16 that there would be a 75 per cent reduction in passenger capacity for two months, with boss Willie Walsh admitting there was ‘no guarantee that many European airlines would survive’. The company has since said it wants to reduce the number of staff by 12,000.

easyJet: The airline with 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew grounded its entire fleet of 344 planes on March 30. The Luton-based carrier said parking all of its planes ‘removes significant cost’ as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand.

Loganair: The Scottish regional airline said on March 30 that it expects to ask the Government for a bailout to cope with the impact of the pandemic. Loganair will go to the government despite being told by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last week that airlines should exhaust all other options for funding, before asking for help.

Jet2: The budget holiday airline has suspended all of its flights departing from Britain until April 30. A number of Jet2 flights turned around mid-air last month while travelling to Spain when a lockdown was announced in the country.

Virgin Atlantic: The airline said on March 16 that it would have reduced its lights by 80 per cent by March 26, and this will go up to 85 per cent by April. It has also urged the Government to offer carriers emergency credit facilities worth up to £7.5billion.

Ryanair: More than 90 per cent of the Irish-based airline’s planes are now grounded, with the rest of the aircraft providing repatriation and rescue flights. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would be forced to shed 3,000 jobs while seeking pay reductions of up to 20 per cent by those who remain. 

Under the plans the airline would cut 1,130 captain and co-pilot jobs from its headcount of 4,346.

In a leaked memo to BALPA, reported by the BBC, the airline warned it may be forced to suspend the few services it still runs out of Heathrow as there are ‘no clear signs of improvement in air passenger demand’.

‘We have not ruled out suspending the remainder of our Heathrow operation,’ it said.

‘In the last week, we operated fewer than five per cent of our normal schedule.

‘Our Gatwick and London City operations are now closed and there is no certainty as to when these can return.’ 

Its CEO, Alex Cruz, wrote to staff on April 28 that the airline is having to prepare for a ‘new future’. 

There have also been rumours that the airline could pull out of Gatwick and London City airport.

However, the BALPA union’s general secretary, Brian Struttion, said: ‘As far as BALPA are aware there is no truth in the rumour that BA will pull out of Gatwick and there has been no indication of that from BA to us. However, it is on our list of questions to ask them.’

Airlines worldwide have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has seen air travel plummet to near-zero levels as nations impose lockdowns to stem the spread of the disease.

The UK government has turned to Morgan Stanley for advice on packages that could help to keep Britain’s once leading airline sector afloat, following warnings the industry could implode.

EasyJet, Jet2 and Loganair have all grounded their aircrafts as the companies attempt to sit out the pandemic.

Ryanair has also pulled its fleet out of the sky, and announced that it doesn’t expect passenger numbers to tick back up to pre-crisis levels until at least 2022.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary also warned planes would stay on the ground until ‘at least July’.

Wizz Air has announced it was looking to re-start some flights to Spain, Portugal and eastern Europe this month, before saying it would also need a bailout from UK authorities.

Virgin Atlantic has also sought a bailout from the UK government. It is 51 per cent owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and 49 per cent owned by US airline Delta.

The British government has so far been wary of bailing out travel companies and in March allowed regional carrier Flybe to collapse, which became one of the first big corporate casualties of the outbreak.

British Airways planes pictured sitting stationary above at London Gatwick Airport, Crawley

British Airways planes pictured sitting stationary above at London Gatwick Airport, Crawley

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said it was exploring all available options to obtain additional external credit, adding it was working with Houlihan Lokey on private sector funding and ongoing discussions with stakeholders were ‘constructive’.

Meanwhile, Branson and the Virgin Group were committed to the airline and were not looking to sell it, a representative for the group said on Friday.

BA said: ‘We can’t comment further while we consult with our unions.’