British Airways set to cut up to 12,000 jobs

British Airways planes parked at Bournemouth Airport, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, April 1, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 April 2020

British Airways set to cut up to 12,000 jobs

  • Restructuring forced on the carrier by the fallout from the coronavirus, says parent company IAG
  • BA CEO Alex Cruz warned last month there would be consequences for the airline after the coronavirus pandemic devastated demand

LONDON: British Airways is to slash up to 12,000 jobs as part of a restructuring forced on the carrier by the fallout from the coronavirus, its parent company IAG said on Tuesday.
The firm said its plans were still under consultation but it was “likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000.”
Passenger demand would take “several years” to return to 2019 levels, the firm said.
International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns Iberia and Vueling, saw its shares lose 2.2 percent as preliminary results showed first quarter revenue had fallen by 13 percent to €4.6 billion ($4.9 billion).
The group’s operating result before exceptional items came in at a loss of €535 million, compared with a profit of €135 million last year, with the second quarter expected to be worse.
IAG said it had reduced passenger capacity for April and May by 94 percent compared with the same period in 2019.
BA chief executive Alex Cruz had warned last month there would be consequences for the airline after the coronavirus pandemic devastated demand.


India to invest $1.46 trillion to lift virus-hit economy

Updated 15 August 2020

India to invest $1.46 trillion to lift virus-hit economy

  • Modi announced a national digital heath plan under which every Indian will get an identity card containing all health-related information
  • Modi said the government has identified 7,000 infrastructure projects to offset the economic impact of the pandemic
NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister said Saturday his country has done well in containing the coronavirus pandemic and announced $1.46 trillion infrastructure projects to boost the sagging economy.
The key lesson India learnt from the pandemic is to become self-reliant in manufacturing and developing itself as a key supply chain destination for international companies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
“The coronavirus epidemic is a big crisis, but it can’t stall India’s economic progress,’’ Modi said in a speech from New Delhi’s 17th century Mughal-era Red Fort to mark 74 years of the country’s independence from British rule. He wore an orange and white turban with a long scarf around his neck.
He also said that three vaccines are in different phases of testing in India and it will start mass production as soon as it got a green light from scientists. “Detailed plans are in place for large-scale production of corona vaccine and making it available to every Indian,” he said.
India’s coronavirus death toll overtook Britain’s this week to become the fourth-highest in the world as the country reported over 2.5 million confirmed cases, just behind the US and Brazil.
Modi also announced a national digital heath plan under which every Indian will get an identity card containing all health-related information.
The celebrations were curtailed on Saturday because of the pandemic, with invitations going only to 4,000 guests instead of normal 20,000, media reports said.
The International Monetary Fund projected a contraction of 4.5 percent for the Indian economy in 2020, a “historic low,” but said the country is expected to bounce back in 2021.
Modi said the government has identified 7,000 infrastructure projects to offset the economic impact of the pandemic.
“Infrastructure will not be created in silos anymore. All infrastructure has to be comprehensive, integrated and linked to each other. Multi-modal connectivity infrastructure is the way forward,” he said.
He said that India saw a record 18 percent jump in foreign direct investment in the past year, a signal that the international companies are looking at the country.
Modi didn’t refer to China directly, but India is trying to capitalize on its rival’s rising production costs and deteriorating ties with the United States and European nations to become a replacement home for large multinationals.
Referring to border tensions with China in the Ladakh area, he said Indian forces had given a befitting response in the mountainous region where thousands of soldiers from the two countries remain in a tense standoff since May. India said 20 of its troops died in hand combat with Chinese troops on June 15.
“Whether it’s terrorism or expansionism, India is fighting the challenges bravely,” Modi said in apparent references to threats from neighboring Pakistan and China.