IAG need to understand the anger about BA job losses

Yesterday in the Commons some MPs were allowed to ask questions of a Transport Minister over the bad news of possible job losses and worse terms and conditions of employment for BA staff who keep a job. All felt the same, that IAG are treating BA employees badly after years of profiting from prime slots at Heathrow and from the successful UK based international travel business.

The Minister pointed to the deferral of VAT payments, the Covid commercial finance facility and the Job retention or furlough scheme as government help to the industry. She expressed regret about the job losses at BA, Virgin and Easyjet. She told us the Job retention scheme money being used by BA was not “designed for taxpayers to fund the wages of employees only for those companies to put these same staff on notice of redundancy within the furlough period.” She said the government has “set up a restart, recovery and engagement unit to work with the aviation industry on the immediate issues affecting the restart of the sector and its longer term growth and recovery”.

She said she did not have legal powers to remove landing slots from BA nor did she set out any legal means of using leverage from the Job Retention grants. When challenged about the proposed worsening of terms of employment, she said she expected companies to “treat their employees with the social responsibility that one would expect.”

I am following up with a letter to the government asking them to show more urgency over the threats to BA jobs, and asking them to take a tougher stance over IAG’s actions. IAG have large cash reserves, will want to run airlines as we recover and has profited a lot in the past from its U.K. investment. So why is it picking on U.K. staff for redundancies?

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230 Comments

  1. DOMINIC
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    How depressing to see Sir John Redwood morph into Len McCluskey. Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time. The Tories sold out to the left in 1990. That process is almost complete

    Vote Labour for Marxism
    Vote Tory for cultural Marxism

    Two London-centric parties who couldn’t give rat’s backside for anything or anyone outside the M25. Both parties immersed in the grubby identity politics of London based activist groups. Both parties have been singing from the same authoritarian hymn sheet since 1997.

    My father was a member of Unite until Leonid McCluskey secured 5% of the vote to become its Gen-Sec. He burned his membership card. Now, Unite control many aspects of our world and McCluskey is the puppet master of PM Johnson

    To see the Tories pandering continually pandering to the left is without question the most appalling sight of the last 30 years. The nails are being hammered into the coffin

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      You say – To see the Tories pandering continually pandering to the left is without question the most appalling sight of the last 30 years.

      Well the Tories have been left wing (and pro EU and now full of green crap too) all my life certainly since Ted Heath.
      Even Thatcher totally failed to cut the state back to a sensible size of 20% of GDP, she closed many Grammar Schools, did nothing about the NHS monopoly, or the BBC or to give freedom of choice in schooling and healthcare (unless you pay many times over). She also fell for the climate alarmism agenda.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        Government expenditure as a % of GDP was about 46% in 1976 and about 46% in 2010 and doubtless will be even higher in 2020. It has averaged over 40% since 1970 then we have all the back door costs of the OTT regulations lumped on to the productive to inconvenience them at every turn. The landlord licencing scheme is a huge parasitic and pointless job creation scheme (that will all have to be paid for by the tenants in higher rents and less choice in the end).

        The Tories pretend to be in favour of tax and regulation cuts and having less EU before each election but they never deliver (until they were finally forced to deliver on the EU and even that is still not yet clear). “Low tax at heart” at Cameron said – yet never in practice.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Yes there’s a complete misunderstanding here about the real world.

      The furlough scheme basically protected some workers during the period where there would have been orders to fill but while it was unwise for workers to travel and work. Now there are no customer orders, there is no need for staff. That’s how it works in the real world.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Dominic.
      Please write a “dot-joining” book.
      So interesting. I’d be your first customer!
      I am constantly trying to discover the roots of all this dystopian outrage.
      How they have taken us for mugs!!!

    • Hope
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Mayhab raised her loathsome head at parliament over Brexit yesterday. What a vile creature she is. Having sold out our nation for three years she questions Johnson! JR, why was she not ousted from your party or advised not to stand as an MP? She betrayed the nation, she betrayed the mandate given by the public, she betrayed your party. She failed to leave the EU on 29/03/2019 after stating 108 times in a variety of ways the U.K. Would leave deal or no deal.

      She has no embarrassment or national pride, someone needs to take her aside tell her to go before she damages your party further. Suggest Johnson should have got rid of those arch remainders at the last election, they are coming back to haunt his weakness.

      • Hope
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        JR, perhaps your energy needs to focus on your pathetic govt as Sunak made clear yesterday that airlines and the like have no future with your govt. Yesterday Sunak announced a new Green revolution to kill off the rest of the economy already unnecessarily self-devastated by the Tory govt! It would be clear to most what a zero carbon economy would look like during the last nine weeks. Taking our country and economy back to the dark ages while China thrives on the energy sources your govt discards. Your govt. happy to give and transfer Jobs and money to China and therefore make all its virtue signalling a self destructive exercise without helping the planet one jot through green revolution strap line shite .

        Perhaps Mayhab is right time to get rid of the Tory party all together. The nation needs center right conservatism. Roger Scruton has never been wanted more than now.

    • jerry
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Dominic; “London-centric parties who couldn’t give rat’s backside for anything or anyone outside the M25”

      The last time I checked both Heathrow and Gatwick were outside of the M25. Yet you accuse our host and his party of not caring, duh!

      “the most appalling sight of the last 30 years.”

      Other than for those without thought (but very active knees), I suspect for most it is quite an appealing sight, for the first time in 40 years (perhaps even 50) a Tory party that cares for the people and small businesses on ‘Main Street’, not just big corporations & institutions in their skyscrapers.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Heathrow is inside the M25. I can still remember the joy of having my car shaken by the four afterburning Olympus’s of a Concorde climbing out to the South West.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          I can remember hosting an American colleague to London. Insisting he wanted to be alongside the runway at Heathrow.
          I think it was Heathrow Hotel alongside the A4. We had a drink in the bar and engine noise alerted us – there was Concorde starting its run. The man was just transfixed – open mouthed saying ‘WTF was that’ in admiration. Finally he could talk – ‘so that’s the SST! – beaming it made his day.
          AND MINE.
          SST – supersonic transport – for those young ones joining the Diary.

      • Mark
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Heathrow is actually just inside the M25, as of course is London City and Biggin Hill.

        • jerry
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          @Mark; Indeed they are! 😳

          Not sure what Biggin Hill has to do with commercial scheduled passenger airlines though. Commercial air fright will be the least affected.

          But all the other UK airports served by BA (and others) are outside of the M25, whilst BA has major overhaul and refurb facilities in various parts of the country too.

    • Peter
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      British governments have never been particularly concerned about foreign ownership of UK companies – or anything else that is British such as property or land – to be honest. Other countries are more protective of their own people.

      So you get situations like the takeover of Cadbury, where the American CEO promised to keep UK production open and UK jobs safe. Once the takeover happened jobs were moved overseas. An invitation to explain this in person to politicians was simply ignored.

      So there ain’t much you can do when foreigners own things and the chickens come home to roost.

      Airlines, hotels etc were always going to suffer post lockdown anyway.

      • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        £250 billion leaves the U.K. every year. We have to sell everything (aka inward investment) to pay for this largess.

    • acorn
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      People across almost all the world’s leading rich economies have turned more sceptical about their governments’ handling of the corona-virus pandemic with confidence slumping the most in Britain, a survey showed on Thursday. (Reuters)

      • Edward2
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Yet a recent poll showed the Conservatives plus one and Labour minus three compared to polling at the last election.

  2. Steve Reay
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Nissan are about to exploit the coronavirus and try and stop the defined pension scheme. When they first opened they had the final salary pension scheme. This is just kicking the can down the road and at some point the government will pick up the tab via benefits.
    Nissan has had millions from this government and will likely get even more. Sir John please step in a prevent this exploitation of this virus and Nissan employees.

    Nissan are using Brexit to put fear into their employees.

    • Hope
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Greg Clarke did not help when a minister. He should have been given P.45 by Johnson before last election.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Ah. I thought that only the public sector was supposed by the Right to have Defined Benefit pension schemes?

      Well, if you’ve been calling for their abolition for all this time, then you can’t really blame the private sector for dancing to your music too, can you?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Slightly different Martin, the private sector schemes are funded by real investments rather than the ponzi of current tax receipts.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          No, many public sector schemes are fully funded too, e.g. those of councils.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Fully funded by the employees do you mean?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            Fully funded in exactly the same way as those in the private sector – by shared contributions as part of the contractually agreed remuneration.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            Well not exactly.
            The parts that is funded by the state funded organisation is funded by tax payers.

            That is why public sector pensions are better than private sector pensions.

          • Adrian Ambroz
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Many public sector pensions are ‘unfunded’ schemes – that is, there is no central fund, and they are paid for only by the taxpayer. The pensions of teachers, firefighters, NHS workers, the police and the armed forces all fall into this category.

            But this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Most public sector pensions still outstrip the vast majority of DC pensions out there. You may not have the same flexibility, but you do have the reassurance of a generous guaranteed income for life.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          So are some of the public sector schemes.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            Not the final salary schemes Peter

  3. Nigl
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Every CEO of BA has tread to sort out the largesse overhang from its public sector days salaries, over staffing etc

    Have you checked whether they are still out of kilter with their competitors because if not, considering where your constituency is this could look like a political intervention.

    They are a PLC owned by their shareholders, What is a Tory government doing interfering? Corbyn would have been proud of you.

    I check their oruces regularly then go with EJ or Ryanair because BA don’t compete. Looks like you want it to stay that way.

    • Hope
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Govt should concentrate on restricting Lufthansa after it was given illegal German state aid.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Illegal under whose laws?

        What court would the UK need to access, to enforce those, if it so claimed as you do?

        • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          EU law either law that applies to Germany.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Treaty law makes State aid illegal if it is not approved by the Commission.
          There are examples of member State subsidy to industry bring ruled out.
          Did you not know?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            So if the UK gives up access to the ECJ then it will have no way of enforcing those laws.

            Sheer genius.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            We will be able to act to support our own businesses as our elected government decides.
            Are you against that Martin?

    • John E
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      They are defending their Heathrow slots at the expense of Gatwick. Their whole business model depends on extracting legacy fares for low cost service by dominating the Heathrow slots. The day Easy Jet is allowed in to Heathrow will be the day they actually have to compete in a proper market.

  4. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Apologies for an off topic post.

    166 migrants crossed the channel yesterday and arrived on the coast of the UK.

    I don’t recall hearing anything about this on the BBC . They were too busy to report it I guess, so exercised were they with what was going on in the USA, and deliberately seeking the opinions of those who were only too happy to call the people of the UK ‘racist’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      Nothing to see here is the BBC’s and indeed the Government’s attitude. They might as well put a sign up on the cliffs at dover saying “all you have to do is get here and you will be allowed to stay”.

      Anyone applying through the official process just themselves buy a rib and some petrol so much quicker, a better chance of success and probably far cheaper too.

    • Andy
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      The story about migrants crossing is on the front page of the BBC News app right now.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Odd how all these people are fleeing to this racist country. Something doesn’t add up, could the narrative that we are such a loathsome people and culture, the left and media so assiduously nurture, be wrong?

      • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        General Motors bought Liberia for the descendants of Black slaves who wanted to Escape white rule. Precious few went.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      and nearly all men – illegal economic migrants.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Oh do not say that Woman’s hour, the BBC and silly dopes like Theresa May and Harriet Harperson will be complaining about the appalling blatant gender discrimination of the traffickers. Doubtless an expensive inquiry and then new regulations would come in forcing traffickers to report on gender, race, disability and age diversity of their customers.

        What is wrong with wrong with women? Why are they less interested in being economic migrants? It might go some way explain why they earn slightly less on average I suppose -they seem less determined?

        • Fred H
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          downtrodden by religion.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          Well the male partner comes first establishes a base and income then she and any children can come.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Exactly. When is your Government going to get it’s act together John and stop acting as a taxi service for every illegal trying to enter the country this way? No wonder they are still coming in their droves with the appalling message being sent. Maybe if we had a tougher Government/Home Secretary sending out a different message something to the tune that their boats will be escorted back to French waters rather than being escorted ashore here and actually doing it, they might finally get the message.
      Priti Patel has gone way down in my estimation – no doubt too busy saving face with her dogged determination to persevere with her mad 14 day quarantine period – three months too late and when the rest of Europe is coming out of the virus.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      I have noticed on the BBC Kent news there has been nothing about them these last few days. Rather surprising while the weather has been nice and calm. 166 – presumably most of them will have many more family members eagerly waiting to set off for their new taxpayer funded lives in the UK. Lets round the 166 up to above a thousand. It’ll be more realistic.

      • Andy
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        It’s on the BBC Kent website right now.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Good post Cheshire Girl. I am insensed over the lack of reporting over illegal entry into the Uk from the BBC. For me this topic is far more important than something happening in the usa which quite frankly is none of our business. Why are we poking our nose in when we have more pressing things to concern ourselved with? The protestors in the uk were demanding more respect while dancing on the cenotaph and mixing close together therefore posing a risk to life for others. I just view them with contempt. The numbers of illegals coming in are rising every week and yet we hear nothing.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Fedupsoutherner

        Apparently the figure is 2,000 illegals since Jan 1st who have arrived by boat so far.

        Thats the number we know about.

        I am beginning to wonder if the French and Uk Governments have organised a timed boat schedule, given it always seems to be in daylight hours, when you would have thought under the cover of night would be the best option if you did not wish to be caught, but then of course you would not get much help !

        Amazing, simply amazing.

        How are we going to stop the French and Spanish fishing fleets ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      You won’t hear much about it, and rightly so, because it is, in the scheme of things, insignificant.

      During normal travel times, the number of unlawful entries by people in small boats is tiny, compared with that of those who just land on visas as per usual at airports, but who then simply disappear into the crowd.

      The present restrictions have perhaps caused some increase in the first.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Starting to be disillusioned with the competence of this government….all talk no action

      • Fred H
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        even the talk is getting to be confused and crack painting.

      • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Even the talk worries me. Mostly delighted that there is no action. Hoping for less action on all fronts.

        • glen cullen
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          You’re correct they could solve lots of problems just by reserving some of there policies

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Given Our Home Secretary is keen on making statements about how successful the UK is at cutting and cracking down on crime, the silence on helping and assisting human people smugglers comes as no surprise.

      If these people are eventually being turned around and sent back, then how about some figures.

      I assume they are all being kept in quarantine before they are returned, or am I hoping for too much.
      Any idea where they are being held JR, that is if they are being held.

      The success the illegals have had in the last 6 months will lead to very many more being encouraged to try.

      • Hope
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        The figures are available Alan. 700 illegal immigrants awaiting deportation were let out of the deportation centres three weeks ago!

        Newspaper last week reported less than 15% of those ordered to leave actually do so.

        Home Office admitted under May to select committee over 250,000 illegal immigrants lost to their system. Under Rudd Home Office admitted 56,000 illegal immigrants lost to their system. This in addition to historic record levels of immigration when Tories promised to cut to tens of thousands. Ten years of Utter dishonesty.

        While waiting asylum application they are paid and housed for nothing in return. Children given money to spend to help speak English. Just before decision made surprisingly they disappear!

    • RichardP
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the Government cares.
      The French and British Navies are providing an escort service, it could be said aiding and abetting people traffickers.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Bear in mind that there are fewer lorries at the mo for them to hitch a ride ( so to speak) in and also that the weather is relatively good to make the channel crossings. So probably not a huge increase in normally hidden influx.
      Although maybe govt using present “emergency” to usher as many people as poss into the country?

  5. Sharon Jagger
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Could it be that IAG will replace UK BA staff with their own Spanish airline staff? Either to make a point following Brexit or to ensure Spanish staff stay in employment?

    This situation shows – yet again – the need to not sell off all our businesses! Globalism doesn’t work to our betterment; the reverse seems true! And we appear not to be able to do a thing about it!

    • Andy
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      We can do something about it. Most countries – including most EU countries – choose not to sell off key industries – like electricity and water. Many other countries, including EU countries, chose not to allow foreigners to own key infrastructure like railways, airports, airlines etc.

      The decision to sell this stuff was not down to globalisation. It was largely down to the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron.

      So you can do something to stop it. You can stop voting Conservative.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        It is depressing how we looked the other way while Johnny Foreigner helped himself to buying our infrastructure and essential services.
        Selling the family silver cheap, and then wondering ‘oh! – was it worth something?’

      • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        We have to sell everything to fund the £250 billion that is drained from our country every year.

      • Mark
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        The big sell off of utilities to foreign interests happened in 2002. BAA was bought by the Spanish in 2006. In July 2008, British Airways announced a merger plan with Iberia, with the deal finalised in April 2010.

        All happened under Labour governments. Strange how the memory plays tricks.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Loads of european countries have privatised utilities airlines airports etc. Privatisation was pioneered by Margaret Thatcher as you say – and imitated all around the world.

      • NickC
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Selling our industries to Jonny Foreigner goes on because people like you sneer at nationalism. Expecting Jonny Foreigner to look after us is the trap that both you and Patrick Minford have fallen into – you are two sides of the same coin. We have seen in this pandemic that your theory doesn’t work.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Globalism allows us to buy more tat, cheaper and improves company profits while removing self-sufficiency. Is this really what we need as a country?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      What % of the BA staff are British working from British bases presently? It would be a PR disaster if they did that and a marketing coup to their competitors if they used British air crews.

    • NickC
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Sharon J, Exactly, “this situation shows – yet again – the need to not sell off all our businesses”. There is a fashion in the UK of assuming we can sell our businesses to Jonny Foreigner with no penalty. Combined with a peculiar anti-nationalism – hating your own country – it leads to our becoming over dependent on the goodwill of Jonny Foreigner. And then our establishment is continually baffled why he looks after himself and not us. It would be funny if it were not so tragic.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Are you saying that the owners of private property should not be free to buy and to sell it as they please?

        How does that sit with your so-called libertarianism?

        For my money, it’s why key industries should consist of at least a major public stake and be accountable to that public, but you don’t like that.

        What’s the Third Way, then?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          When you say public you actually mean the State.

        • NickC
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          Martin, You think China is not fighting a war by proxy? Or Germany for that matter? Both are mercantilist; both use the economic might generated by their mercantilism to gain power. Haven’t you even thought about this? It is not possible to have a free market (or democracy) across national boundaries. That’s two reasons the EU is so bad. What is applicable within the UK single market cannot be applicable across our national boundaries, or we will lose everything.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            Answer my question.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        The fashion is for ‘Investment’ banks to engage in ‘Mergers and Acquisitions’ as a means of paying their inordinate salaries and bonuses and for British politicians to take the worthless undertakings of immoral opportunists as reasons for allowing part of our industrial base which had been built up over many years by people much cleverer than know-nothing Arts graduate politicians to be pillaged. Drive the spiv banks out of the City; they are a liability. Introduce laws to prevent stupid politicians from exercising their stupidity on every possible occasion.

        • forthurst
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          IAG received state aid from Spain on condition that none of the money could be used to protect BA jobs. Was the government aware of this? When the furlough scheme was set up, did the government consider the possibility that companies, particularly foreign owned ones, would behave exactly like IAG is doing?

      • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Johnny Foreigner does not pay the same rates of tax as natives, so they can make a profit where we can’t. We are forced to sell because of the long-standing policy of impoverishing the British. There was an interlude where Thatcher gave us half a chance.

        • hefner
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          An interlude during Mrs Thatcher’s premiership? You must be kidding.
          BritishAerospace, British Airways, British Gas, British National Freight Corporation, British Shipbuilders, British Steel, British Telecom, Rover cars, Royal Ordnance, The Tote were all privatised between 1980 and 1990.
          British Rail was privatised under John Major, Air Traffic Control under Tony Blair, Royal Mail under David Cameron.
          Some of these privatisations have clearly improved the services to the customers. In most cases, after a while, it resulted in the majority of the holdings getting into foreign hands.

    • acorn
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      British Airways owner IAG reckons it is burning €200m of cash a week. It had about €4,000 in cash and near cash last time I looked.

      IAG Group includes two full service carriers, British Airways and Iberia, two value carrier, Aer Lingus and Iberia Express, and two low cost carriers, LEVEL and Vueling.

      • acorn
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Sorry €4,000 million in cash.

    • agricola
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely correct Sharon.

  6. Peter Wood
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    There are two issues that affect airlines arising out of Covid19, one of which is government policy.

    1) It is believed that airlines will be far smaller than they are now, following the Covid 19 epidemic, for a number of years, therefore it will be necessary to both reduce fleet and personnel.

    2) Government’s own mad policy to require 14 days quarantine for arrivals. Clearly this extends the period of very low utilisation and increases losses, and it is not known for how long this government produced damage will last.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Add in the Air Passenger duty, another way of milking this industry. Totally agree on first para.

      Funny how politicians attack an industry like this because of its CO2 emissions but when the reality, loss of jobs, actually happens and votes could be lost, they start complaining.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      I tend to agree. Some slimming down will have to happen in this industry in the short to medium term. The sooner the adjustment is made and people get other jobs the better. It would however be a very good time to build the new runways needed at Gatwick and Heathrow. By the time these are finished they will certainly be needed.

      Doubtless this will not happen but the complete economic lunacy of HS2 will!

  7. Adam
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Govt’s duty after protecting its citizens is to moderate behaviour, & to use monetary incentives as a key tool. If the Job Retention Scheme was designed fit for its intended purpose at the outset, the notion of urging fairness after payments had been made might not then occur.

    Aeronautical engineers did not decide to add a braking mechanism to Concorde only after it failed to stop at the end of a runway. Emergencies require fast solutions, and not all consequences are predictable, yet much of the furlough consequence should have been, and assessed before action.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      The furlough cash should perhaps have been restricted so it is only payable for staff the company was going to retain for at least 2 years or something.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Adam, “Emergencies require fast solutions, and not all consequences are predictable, yet much of the furlough consequence should have been, and assessed before action.”

      This was predictable and businesses that predicted it asked about the consequences to their future decision making on redundancy if necessary if work didn’t get back to full operations when coming out of lockdown and they were reassured they could provide notice and make redundancies in a planned and correct manner. Re-read all of the reassurances given out by spokespeople like Martin Lewis about furlough to business, telling them to take people back on with no risk to them at the end of the scheme.

    • John E
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      The Concorde braking system was the first to use carbon fibre brakes for strength and lightness. It was a triumph of UK technology and was the basis of the Dunlop aviation business in Coventry (now Meggit) that rolled out the technology to the whole of aviation.

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    You’d better get used to it John because the way the furlough scheme is set up many companies will immediately sack the staff who are on it when the scheme ends and that was entirely predictable from the beginning, it is a pity no payback clause was put in to cover this situation. So, nothing you can do ? no point complaining then.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Allister Heath spot-on in the Telegraph today, and here is just one example of Tory MPs” lashing-out in all directions”.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      I disagree Roy.

      The furlough scheme was designed from a business perspective so that employees were available when business returned to normal levels.

      An organisation might have furloughed staff in good faith but now realise that business will not return so they will not need the staff. Redundancy consultations have to take at least 30 days so of course businesses will start the process while staff are still furloughed. This money would be paid out through Universal credit and housing benefit anyway so there should be no paying back.

      The government did this, cheered on by a hysterical media. Business is just reacting.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        If you recall Roy, when this started the predictions were for a V shaped, swift economic recovery.

        • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          Then Boris decided to ‘flatten them sombrero’ and extend the agony ‘to save the NHS’. How is he going to save the NHS when there is no money to pay for it?

    • NickC
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Roy G, There is at least one solution – nationalise BA (as Rolls Royce was nationalised in 1971), and then subsidise BA as the Germans are unfairly subsidising Lufthansa, and France is unfairly propping up Air France. I’m not advocating that, merely stating there is a solution.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Not sure we can, it’s not a separate business, just a part of a Spanish company. If we thought there was a strategic case for having a national airline we should have stopped that merger. Maybe we should protect EasyJet instead, a British airline.

      • Ed M
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        To what degree should the UK support the car industry here in the UK. Not to support run-of-the-mill cars nor sports cars but quality cars like Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Although there are negatives about the German government supporting the German car industry, overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives (I might be wrong).

        Positives:

        1. Higher Skilled Jobs
        2. Broad range of interesting jobs – both engineering and creative
        3. Higher Productivity
        4. Higher Exports
        5. Boosts German Tech sector and R&D in general
        6. Gives a boost of Patriotism to the German Economy

        • Ed M
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          In WW2, we produced the Spitfire, an efficient and beautiful flying machine. We produced the mini. Why can’t we have British-style VW Golfs and BMWs and so on. Why do the Germans have to rule the roost here? It is possible, but like the German, our car industry would need some government support (again, not to produce run-of-the mill cars or sports cars but cars like VW Golf, BMWs etc). I might be missing something – but I think supporting quality, stylish UK cars would really boost our economy a lot.

          • glen cullen
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            This government has effectively stopped any new entrants to the market place by way of bureaucracy and red-tape

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            People with good jobs in manufacturing tend to vote Labour, that is why.

        • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          I have never owned a German car in my life and would rather travel on HS2 than buy one.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            I trust you will live a long and fruitful life for you to be able to enjoy such a trip!

          • glen cullen
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            Qatch out the train set on the HS2 rail might just be mafe in Germany, I believe the tenders are still out

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Lynn +1. Me neither.

          • hefner
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Glen, following the tender the shortlist for HS2 ‘train set’ includes Alstom (France), Bombardier (Canada), Hitachi Rail Europe (International of Japanese origin), Talgo (Spain), and Siemens Mobility (International of German origin).
            At the end of 2019, it appeared there might be ‘rapprochements’ between some of these companies before the final contract is awarded (particularly between Bombardier and Hitachi).
            I have not been able to find any more recent announcement.

          • Ed M
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            Fine, but lots of Brits are buying German cars when we can make cars just as well – and export them.

            The only trouble is that the car industry might need some government support (like the German car industry does as well).

            But if we can produce British style Audi and BMWs (as opposed to run-of-the-mill cars or sports cars), then think how much extra to the British Economy.

  9. Javelin
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    WHO recommends a one meter distancing. The UK Gov requires 2M distancing.

    This makes a huge difference on planes. With 7×40=280 seats in economy. 1m=4×40=160 seats, 2m=3×20=60 seats.

    Which one will prevail?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      After experimentation with tape measure I reckon that 1m is just a “normal” distance. When it was given as early WHO advice ( along with other non alarmist info…like Covid is not very infectious) it meant …don’t get up really close and breathe all over other people! Coughs and sneezes spread diseases etc….

    • Ed M
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      @Javelin,

      Why not 1 m rule on planes? (And 2 m everywhere else).

      If the airline industry collapses / plummets, we’re up s–t-creek.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    That’s what you get when assets are sold to foreign companies
    Heathrow is Spanish owned and I bet they will make many redundant after profiting from the UK taxpayer.
    The 14 day quarantine is economic vandalism for the tourists industry.

    • hefner
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      British Airports Authority (BAA) created in 1985 is now called Heathrow Airport Holdings.
      According to Wikipedia its ownership is 25% Spanish (Ferrovial), 20% Qatari (Qatar Holding), 12% Canadian (Quebec Caisse de Depot et Placement), 11% from Gov’t of Singapore, 11% Alinda Capital (US-based Infrastructure investment firm), 10% China Investment Corporation, 10% UK Universities Superannuation Scheme.

      What’s not to like?

    • Ed M
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Am I missing something – shouldn’t we be allowing foreigners from low-Covid places into the UK without quarantine (like Australia, Germany, Denmark, and so on). And put everyone else into quarantine (countries such as France, Portugal and so on will soon be low enough to be allowed into UK without quarantine – couple of weeks).

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Why are they doing it ?

    Because they can, simples, that is how capitalism works.

    You get good Companies who look after their customers.

    You get good Companies who look after their staff, customers, and are also interested in the community within which they operate.

    Equally you then get Companies who do not give a toss about anything other than paying the lowest wages, providing a minimum service, and paying as little tax as possible, so that they can try to maximise profits.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      @Alan Jutson

      Well said. You’ve hit it on the head. There are 2 forms of Capitalism, one good and the other bad.

      This virus is showing the best and worst of both sides.

      (And the good form of Capitalism works in the long-run – look at the great success of the Quakers in business, with their approach to capitalism being based on work).

      • Ed M
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Patriotism is key in the good form of capitalism. There is real satisfaction involved in building up your own UK brand, with high-skilled jobs, and then exporting top quality British brands abroad.

        Science shows that money only brings so much happiness – and a lot of unhappiness. But that working at something you genuinely enjoy, and having good relations at work with others, and creating something of quality that gets exported abroad, and doing an really honest hard day’s work – things like that – greatly increases work satisfaction and overall happiness (and at end of day, money then takes off itself – you will even have excess money to what you desire or want that makes you happy).

  12. agricola
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    IAG comprises Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Level ,Vueling, plus three IAG companies , Loyalty, Cargo and GBS. It is registered in Madrid and headquartered in London. It is 25.1% owned by Quatar Airways. It is difficult to see BA in isolation as it is just part of a global company or for that matter to see it as British. I would guess that the management are trying to rationalise it for a post Covid 19 existence.

    All I can tell you from the experience of many years of international travel is that it was never a first choice airline for me, too expensive and not very attractive compared with those I chose to fly with.. My conclusion is that it must face the new reality of shrunken demand. Under the circumstances it has no God given right to expect further support from the UK government just because of it’s title.

    • agricola
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      It is only two small paragraphs, so how did it miss your moderation. If you disagree with it say so.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        oh dear. Sir John seems to be passing over a lot of our words of wisdom, but relenting later.

  13. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Pot calling the kettle black.
    The government has completely gone backside about face on quarantine, putting in a very nice system just as it’s no longer needed. How stupid to let the virus in seamlessly from Spain and Italy in Feb/March and clamp down on it now?
    Can you wonder that an overseas company thinks the government is so confused about itself that it really won’t matter what it does because the government is as likely to throw money at it for leaving as it is for staying?

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when you allow your country to be asset stripped Sir John.

    Your countrymen are treated badly.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Your government, egged on the media, social media and authoritarians everywhere trashed many sectors of the economy by confining us to our homes unless we could justify being out.

    This hysteria stopped people travelling by air and will prevent normal volumes from returning (the furlough scheme was designed so that staff were available when business returned was it not? When it is obvious that business will not return redundancies will naturally follow). Why would IAG want to take on debt when future levels of business are at best uncertain?

    Your government did this, do not blame businesses for adapting, that is what it does.

  16. Tabulazero
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It is easier to blame the spaniards than face the fact that imposing a 14 days quarantine to all UK arrivals to make up for the fact that the government was late at every step of the COVID crisis will cause great damage to air travel im the UK.

    Flights will get in and out of Madrid or Barcelona without problems

    • NickC
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, Yet when I pointed out the stupidity of a national lockdown without a border lockdown a couple of months ago, your mate Andy could only shriek “xenophobe”! I don’t think you remains were all that enthusiastic when PotUS Trump locked down flights from China on 2nd February, either.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        a lockdown two months after the pandemic started looks like shuting down the barn’s door after the horse has bolted.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          two months?

          • hefner
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            WHO announcement on 30/01/2020, UK lockdown on 23/03/2020, so you are right, 52 days therefore < 60 days.
            Please tell me, dear Edward2, isn't what you are doing here (and in some many other instances) not trolling. No of course not because you decide what is trolling and what is not.
            I now get it.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            Gosh hef
            Joining in with a strange post that attempts to prove I’m wrong but fails totally.
            Carry on her.
            It’s only you looking silly.

          • hefner
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            I don‘t mind looking silly, there are, you know, worse things in life.
            And if one-line comments below a limit number of contributors on this blog help you feel you have achieved some higher purpose, and help you make your day, good for you.

  17. Richard1
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Let us remember the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

  18. David Williams
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    It works both ways. An employee can decide not to go back to work when the free money stops.

  19. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It is not the Free Market, Free Enterprise that are the enemy of the State. It is the Big Business that manipulate the systems to their own ends.

    Generally the situation is we will help employment if you give us taxpayer funding. Then we will use every means at our disposal to avoid contributing on an equal basis to the infrastructure, health and wealth of the communities we profit from.

    In the UK’s case it is the tax system that stifles growth, it is stuck in another altogether different century and along the way has been tweaked, manipulated and distorted beyond purpose. As it is conglomerates such as IAG are able to freeload on the backs of others, the system rewards them at the expense of those that would compete.

    Allowing large cooperation to mastermind takeovers just because the can, works against the ideal of a free market. Better a company collapses, than be taken out of the market by the bigger player. Every cooperate failure causes the half a dozen start ups and occasionally one will be brilliant.

    IAG/BA never needed to absorb other Airlines it just made it a ‘slob’ of a corporation, stuff the consumer, stuff competing, if we need to grow we will just absorb.

    Large Corporation are in practice anti the free market and anti free trade.

    • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      It’s called Corporatism. It’s the Continental system, they have never comprehended English capitalism.

  20. DaveM
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Could you also send a letter to the government asking why, during a period that I’ve not been allowed to visit my kids, over 1000 illegal immigrants have been ushered in to my country – my home – that I pay them to protect?

    Also, could you ask the government why it sponsors a police force to dance around dressed in rainbows and kneel in front of violent ‘protesters’ whilst arresting elderly folk in parks?

    Finally, can you ask them why it’s ok for thousands of people to gather in central London on a Wednesday but it’s not ok for me to go to the pub after work or go to a restaurant for my dinner?

    Your party needs to start acting the way we expected it to act when it was elected. The word on the street is ‘come back Nigel’.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Dave M Come back Nigel. Absolutely! This government is a joke. So many promises but doing everything they can to destroy us.

  21. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The UK has to ensure that as we move on from this corona virus we have the wealth creation in place to pay back the massive debts the taxpayer has now incurred.

    In terms of a ‘level playing field’ this government needs to think hard and long before it offers handouts to those corporations who through sleight of hand are not domiciled in the UK for tax reasons.

    It might seem warm and cuddly in the short term to ensure we sustain employment in all areas. But the UK Government mustn’t lose sight that in the long term most of these outfits, will not contribute on an equal basis to the greater majority and they will move on in ways that suit them.

    Never forget the UK taxpayer and UK taxpaying companies are subsidising disproportionately in a big way the likes of IAG solely due a tax system not fit for purpose. Treat everyone and every corporation as equals in the UK and we will flourish.

  22. Richard1
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    In other news the EU seems to be in effect colluding with people smugglers to try to get leverage over the U.K. in the Brexit talks. We have seen other cases around the world of governments using desperate people as a political weapon, but never so far a developed democracy. I would suggest all talks are suspended while this shameful tactic is even on the table.

  23. Andy
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    It is interesting to see Conservative MPs with seats around Heathrow and Gatwick get worried about this.

    You’ll be getting even more worried when the airports start cutting jobs too – which they will soon.

    Anyway, why are you all worried about jobs? It’s survival of the fittest remember. Rules to protect workers are bureaucratic nonsense designed to keep Britain on a leash. The Britannia Unhinged, sorry Unleashed, brigade now running government will tell you it is lazy workers who are to blame for all of this. Those BA pilots and cabin crew just need to work harder.

    • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Closed down by diktat Andy, and you should worry because we pay your dole.

  24. Andy
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson said in PMQs that he is proud of the government response to Coronavirus.

    Yesterday we had more UK Coronavirus deaths than the EU27 combined.

    Imagine how much better we could have done with a competent government.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      You really accept the different ways they all count their cases?

      • Edward2
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Article in the Financial Times shows if the UK adopted Spanish methods of counting we would have 20 deaths.
        Check it out for yourself.

    • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      You mean Trump? I agree, in 2025 we need to tempt him home and active here.

    • hefner
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      ‘Spanish Health Minister lowers death toll by nearly 2000’ english.elpais.com, 26/05 by Elena G. Sevillano
      and now ‘Team Trump pushes CDC to dial down Covid death counts’ 13/05 thedailybeast.com

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    1. Sunak should have done UBI not furlough after an initial emergency 2 or 3 weeks.
    2. Patel must go and the 14 day random madness dumped immediately. It is a.strong signal that Govt will act against travel whenever it likes and or however long it likes.If
    3. Hancock must go and the Govt must publish infection fatality rates by age and condition to.communicate how low the risk is for the majority (it is unforgivable that Patel claimed everyone is endangered)
    4. Aside – plotting a normalised 7 day smooth of hospital deaths in England and Wales appears to indicate the over 80s death rate, though coming down, is lagging. Given the elderly die more quickly of the disease this seems peculiar, risks distorting the figures and should be explained.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      1: Anyone living next to someone in receipt of housing benefit knows that local housing costs rise to meet that doled out for free. Therefore all Universal Basic Income will do is rise prices to the level affordable with Universal Basic Income.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders,

        No. How UBI is funded would determine the redistribution of demand and consumption through the nation. It cannot be argued from a pure local micro’ effect. It is not selectively doled out for free.

  26. Philip B
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Perhaps if the quarantine issue hadn’t clouded the issue things may have not got to this.
    It seems crazy to allow people into the U.K. from countries with a much lower rate and then quarantine them for 14 days.
    Interestingly enough this is the government going against medical science. So now we have two differing policies medical science when it suits and if not politicians will make a ruling. This is to cover up the reality of the fact that quarantine was the right policy 3 months ago but the government ignored it then so now it’s brought in to cripple the economy you couldn’t make it up.

    Boris is kidding himself and Priti Patel should sort out illegal immigration from across the English Channel as a priority instead of dragging the economy down further.

    Sadly this government who I voted for is making crazy knee jerk decisions for all the wrong reasons. If the economy is not nurtured soon it will be disastrous for everyone. We need real leadership at this time not “Bumbling”

  27. Andy
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    There were devastating pieces of television journalism yesterday. Dispatches – Britain’s Coronavirus Catastrophe. Highlighting the failure of government ministers to lockdown nearly enough – leading the worst death toll in Europe, the excessive spread of the virus and a longer lockdown than we should have had. Epic failure.

    And Newsnight’s extended report on a scandal in our care homes. As ministers fumbled and lied elderly and vulnerable people died in their thousands.

    Government ministers were ‘not available’ to answer questions from journalists on either programme.

    Mr Johnson is getting increasingly angry that Sir Keir Starmer is asking questions at PMQs. It is the Leader of the Opposition’s constitutional role to question the prime minister. I don’t doubt that Mr Johnson is uncomfortable defending his record but Sir Keir has a job to do. And he is doing it well.

    You can only conceivably look at the monumental mess these clowns in government have for so long until you conclude that they need removing. This is literally the worst government we have ever had. A group of ministers who aspire to being second rate because it would be an improvement on where they are now. It is not my age group which is dying in vast numbers and I’m absolutely appalled.

    • steve
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      You appear to be showing concern that the elderly are dying from covid. Also you fail to blame, or even mention brexit.

      Are you feeling ok ?

    • NickC
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Your theory that we did not “lockdown nearly enough” is falsified by the example of Sweden and by your own refusal to countenance locking down our borders as PotUS Trump did early on. And the USA figures are better than the EU’s.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I have read that the peak suggests that lockdown timing has nothing to do with the number of cases or deaths.

      Onward later transmissions caused the high numbers

  28. a-tracy
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    John, you can’t change the rules retrospectively decisions were taken based on the rules at the time if you had not wanted this to happen then it should have been legislated for; businesses were clearly told that if they furloughed staff, rather than immediately give them notice and make them redundant if work didn’t pick up at the end of the scheme they could lay them off when this became necessary to protect other jobs and the future of the Company, otherwise thousands if not millions would have been laid off altogether at the start of the crisis and the Unions would have been worse off because subs would have stopped.

    If businesses aren’t allowed to operate for more than three months you knew they were less likely to get back fully manned operations. Martin Lewis even told employers to take back on people that they’d laid off or who had resigned with no obligation and were told “you can furlough them with no risk to your business”, we lost a new employee because she wanted to furlough and didn’t want to work through the peak of the crisis who’d started working for us mid-March.

    BA and their unions negotiated full pay for workers furloughed, this has a big cost on an operation that has zero or say less than 50% turnover and all of its other costs building up in the background.

    Roy indicates above that “many companies will immediately sack the staff who are on it” this is not as easy as he presumes. My understanding is that it is redundancy, this means notice pay which is contractual PLUS redundancy pays which goes up with each year of service and with the person’s age. People over 65 have often been with companies more than 20 years so it is likely the struggling companies will select younger staff with less service to make redundant as it is very expensive to “lay off” retirement age workers (BUT THIS IS A BAD DECISION).

    • Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Companies are simply going into liquidation – they can start fresh with no debts etc if they so choose.

  29. glen cullen
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    If its IAG policy to replace BA with cheap labour they need look no further than Dover with hundreds of illegal migrants crossing channel and looking for work

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      They’re not looking for work.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        sorry I should’ve said ‘looking for benefits’

  30. acorn
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Table of confirmed cases in the last 14 days divided by population as a percentage. Greece looks good for an air bridge, if they would risk letting Brits in. We are nearly an evens chance with Portugal; let’s go”

    Brazil 0.134%
    United_States 0.092
    Russia 0.085
    Sweden 0.078
    United_Kingdom 0.045
    Portugal 0.034
    Belgium 0.025
    Spain 0.016
    Netherlands 0.014
    France 0.013
    Denmark 0.012
    Italy 0.011
    Germany 0.008
    Greece 0.001

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Greece has sensibly closed its borders to UK people, like Cyprus and Spain, I understand.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Not Cyprus.
        They are keen to encourage tourists.
        And are offering free health cover if you do get ill whilst in their country.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      I heard Greece immediately test people when they arrive by air and send them back and then banned other flights so we get to find out who in the UK is infected (they had 12 from Qatar the other day)! If a tiny country like Greece can do this why can’t we?

      I think they should all ban us for the next few months, especially how people are getting into each other’s safe physical distance in London and other Cities like Manchester and Liverpool. All the fuss about DC for the past two weeks and not a big protest by the same media about people getting within safe 2m distance of our police who are just trying to do their jobs.

      Protests are fine as long as during Covid the protestors appreciate the 2m physical distance rule this should be marked out on the floor in front of the police with chalk because some people just don’t understand how big this gap is when they’re getting up close and personal and shouting in people’s faces – we’ve been told that the greatest spreader is singing and shouting, our NHS must be apoplectic at the moment, they were grumbling about people sitting 2m away from each other in a park last weekend!

  31. Christine
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    If I owned a company, I would use this situation to get rid of unproductive staff. We have become so overburdened with employment legislation it has become very difficult to get rid of bad employees.

  32. Newmania
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Is it picking on UK staff , do you have any evidence for this ?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      IAG is only doing this with BA staff, who are predominantly British. Open your eyes.

      • hefner
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Could it be that the Spanish part of IAG expects to have access to some EU-funded scheme and the British part does not?

  33. a-tracy
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    If IAG “is picking on U.K. staff for redundancies?” then just let all the British public know and allow us to take the action then politicians can stay out of it, then they won’t need to the landing slots.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Back in the day I would always use BA, then as things began to change I’d also fly Lufthansa. Eventually I’d go for SAS where I could – and the disputes, strikes etc told me to abandon BA for good – – and I’ve kept to it.
      You have to deserve your customers.

      • hefner
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. In terms of services on European destinations, BA is hardly above easyJet but easyJet prices are half those of BA’s.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          I’ve always felt that BA service and accuracy on departure times was worth some of the extra charged. Whenever I’ve flown with the low-cost airlines they bump flights when they have aircraft problems and then the whole day’s flights for that company are an hour late causing long waits in airports (which in the next year is where the infections will be transmitted not on the flights I feel their plane air conditioning systems will filter well)

          However, I will not tolerate funding a company pretending to be British and taking actions that would in my mind be anti-British. There are plenty of British Companies that buy business tickets through BA for the Spanish shareholders to think about.

          • hefner
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            For years I worked for a company where it was a given that trips had to be on BA. Then following some budget restrictions around 2000 we were encouraged to use the cheapest airline possible, which clearly for trips within Europe meant ‘anything but BA’. As for long-haul flights, when BA appeared the only choice possible, it was always good to check which OneWorld partner was more likely to fly the aircraft as Qatar and Qantas were obviously preferable to American or BA.
            As for queues and delays I could not remember so much difference, specially as I was travelling usually early in the morning for at least one of the legs.
            In that respect, the British tag is essentially of no importance to me.

  34. John E
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    What exactly do you expect to happen when you introduce quarantine measures that will stop people flying?
    Were BA supposed to accurately predict the utter stupidity of the government at the start of the furlough scheme and know then that they would need to make so many people redundant?

    • John E
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Let’s imagine that at the start of this BA had made their people redundant rather than furloughing them because they somehow had a crystal ball that let them foresee that even though the government was not bringing in any quarantine at the start of the outbreak or during it, they would have their business wrecked by a quarantine at the end of the outbreak.

      I wonder what MPs would have said about that? Really how could anyone have predicted the “world class” stupidity of this government and been taken seriously?

  35. Sea Warrior
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    This right-wing, capitalist, IAG shareholder is disgusted at BA’s actions. True, the greed shown by the airliner’s pilots last year shamed them. And true, that some of BA’s senior cabin crew, on legacy contracts, are grossly overpaid. But many recent recruits are not so well paid that they should be getting the sack by an airline making good profits. Perhaps the government should legislate to be able to control landing slot allocations. That would put the frighteners on Walsh. In the meantime, he should reflect on the fact that the brand ambassadors for any airline are the staff handing out the peanuts and cocktails.

    • hefner
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Landing slot allocation appears to be the responsibility of IATA. I doubt that the government would want to step on BAA’s private feet and contradict IATA.

  36. Edwardm
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Good on you, JR.
    Indeed, if there are a disproportionate number of British job losses, IAG-BA should automatically lose landing slots at Heathrow. Our government should not be so lame.

    • Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Sadly our govt is legless, not lame.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Have they found a late-opening boozer near the House? I assume the House’s bar is closed?

  37. Everhopeful
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    When a country is run ( for a long time probably) by closet socialists who hate and detest said country.
    ( And what are people who hate their own country?).
    How can that country EVER get a fair crack of the whip in any scenario?
    And we never have and probably never will.

    In-fighting among British air travel outfits might also account for these redundancies. Would BA resist a blanket govt. air travel bailout to shaft its rivals ( Virgin etc?) and then adopt the meanest of job destructions?? Oh surely not…and when so many BA workers were serving tea to NHS staff ( clap, clap..please God not tonight again!!).

    I guess that IAG is fighting for (Spanish) survival. I bet it was already up the financial creek ( like BA) and in hock to the banks. We will let it have all it wants to regain pre-2020 performance and all those BA workers will be collateral damage. All their hopes and dreams ( bleat) shattered!

    Would now be a good time to buy IAG and BA shares…new lean, mean, obscene companies??

    Bless the virus…for it has been most convenient. For some, it seems!!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I’m buying both IAG and EasyJet. I suspect that the airlines will recover far more quickly than the doomsters predict. Governments can help by getting at-airport screening in place, around the world.

  38. Diane
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I believe billions in State Aid payments by the likes of Germany, ( incl. taking a stake I recall as a condition & was contested by EU Commission ) Italy & France being made to their own airlines. Was wondering how does our own position lie with regard to this aspect of the problem. I read recently that it was expected to take airlines 2 years+ to get back to how things were before the start of the problem but we as individuals are in the future expected to change our way of life by flying & driving much less to aid climate change efforts so getting back to ‘normal’ is questionable.
    Cheshire Girl’s comments – it seems our national broadcaster reported quite late on yesterday’s 166 arrivals. As usual it’s always to be found under UK/Local News/Dover on the website. They hardly ever make a big announcement on these events. 8 incidents in total including 11 arrested when found on a beach at Samphire Hoe. The report, such as it is, is there now.

  39. glen cullen
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Listening to Kemi Badenoch Equalities Minister at the dispatch box this morning

    Covid-19 BAME debate

    She was asked by a conservative MP ‘’isn’t it important that we listen to employers’’
    Her reply ‘’yes its very important’’…that MP left straight after the question; job done

    What a waste of time and questions, everyone trying to score points and ensuring that they have a tick in the box for the media and roll

    Ministers at the despatch box need to rebuke ‘statements’, ‘do you agree’. ‘tick-in-box’, ‘generalisations – non questions’ and ‘silly’ questions

    Its about time a minister just said NO please ask a simple precise question

  40. Simon
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Amazing post from you Sir John. I would never have expected such protectionist content from you. Perhaps if the government hadn’t decided to pass the ridiculous quarantine legislation yesterday, IAG would be in a position to start working again as other countries borders are re-opened and to maintain a business which has been under threat from low cost airlines.
    I am afraid that the government has played an absolute blinder – in that: the short sighted are being led by the blind. We don’t know if they have “followed the science” because they have chosen to keep the science confidential. Another MP addressing the house yesterday apparently with Covid, the government and PHE handling of the pandemic has been like watching a slow motion train smash. One can only hope that the virus dies out like SARS.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      The government remains shielded behind the ‘We were only following the science’ excuse. It won’t save its reputation when the inquiries start. And it doesn’t excuse its not consulting with the airlines about the quarantine.

      • formula57
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        ‘We were only following the science’ is no doubt the contemporary version of “I was not responsible, I was only obeying orders”.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Simon, “Another MP addressing the house yesterday apparently with Covid” fortunately he wasn’t infected with Covid, but it does show up the new quit work immediately and stay at home for 14 days on SSP (for the majority) rules for the shambles they are!

      How many of our MPs have the phone app to track their contacts on and working? How many of them were told drop everything and go home for 14 days! I’d bet none.

  41. Polly
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Surely it’s no longer British Airways but now Spanish Airways ?

    As predicted, Hydroxychloroquine seem to be in trouble thanks to (deliberate ?) false data, and, while the WHO have restarted their initiative, the Oxford trials of this drug have apparently been abandoned..

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/leahrosenbaum/2020/06/03/who-restarts-hydroxychloroquine-trials-for-covid-19-after-data-showing-increased-risk-called-into-question/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news#4126ca62728a

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8368649/Fury-study-halted-global-Covid-19-trials-letter-questions-methods.html

    Still no news about whether or not zinc is being included as this should be a combination therapy.

    Do you ever get the impression that there is something seriously wrong with the increasingly globalist and Davos oriented Boris Johnson government ?

    As James Delingpole tells us yesterday………

    ”Britain Unleashes a Green New Deal to Kill What’s Left of the Economy”

    ”There is going to be no escaping this looming disaster, caused by a mass outbreak of green groupthink at virtually every level of the Boris Johnson administration – from Prime Ministerial girlfriends (green activist Carrie Symonds) to key members of the quadrumvirate (Greenest Gove ever), from Prime Ministerial advisors (Dom Cummings) to formerly sound Tory MPs who definitely aren’t any more because they’ve been put on the payroll and have to spout whatever eco bilge they are told to spout”

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/06/03/britain-unleashes-green-new-deal-to-kill-whats-left-of-the-economy/

    Very sadly, just about everything Prime Minister Johnson does looks destined to collapse into disaster at vast cost to everyone in the UK.

    Polly

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Truly despondent ….I was hoping that we would have a Tory government in power by now

    • Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      +1
      If Boris is not despatched the Government will be. I don’t know a single Conservative that would put their cross next to the tree in these circumstances.

    • NickC
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Polly, Unfortunately you are correct: Boris Johnson is betting the entire UK on CAGW being true. Since it isn’t, his winner-picking will end in disaster for us all.

    • Mark
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      I see The Lancet has retracted its major study that purported to show that HCQ etc. are ineffective. The data behind it did not stand up to scrutiny. Perhaps there will now be a proper study. Perhaps the Lancet should get a new editor.

      • hefner
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        There is a good item by James Heathers: ‘The Lancet has made one of the biggest retractions in modern history. How could this happen?’ 05/06/2020.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          The tin pot American private company, which supplied the data has been found to be highly questionable, and its key figures have form on dishonesty.

          The Lancet and peer publications around the world have all done the same.

          So we don’t know where we are on the matter.

  42. glen cullen
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    More than 160 migrants travelled across the Channel in small boats in 24 hours – a record for a single day- source BBC

  43. Christine
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    It’s getting beyond a joke that the Government won’t allow zoos to open but will allow mass protests to be held. I’m losing all respect for our politicians.

  44. Posted June 4, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Surely Johnson can provide IAG with millions by commissioning them to fly 3 million Chinese from the Chinese city of Hong Kong to the U.K. to do us all over?
    Johnston really must take his paternity leave – extended and fully paid until the child reaches maturity. Cheap at the price.

  45. Mark B
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Good afternoon

    We cannot treat BA any differently to any other business. But let it be known that this company is a Spanish company and, any bailouts should come from Spanish government and not the UK taxpayer.

  46. MikeP
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Willie Walsh’s appearance before the Transport Select Committee was telling.
    First, to your accusation or question as to why redundancies only in BA, he confirmed that all the airlines in the group would have to make their own decisions on the actions necessary to ensure long-term viability, it wasn’t for IAG to dictate and other airlines would see job losses.
    Secondly he reminded MPs that BA and indeed all other airlines are barely flying at all, certainly aren’t flying passengers, so drastic action was necessary across the whole industry.
    Third, he pointed out that the furlough payments to staff were very much welcomed but did not stop the company trading at a massive loss since they don’t cover fixed costs. As such he suggested that it wasn’t a smart way to run a large business by running down all its cash reserves and loan facilities. He was very open and transparent about the detail of those.
    Finally he took great exception (rightly in my view) to Labour’s Sam Tarry’s suggestion that BA should relinquish the British flag and instead fly the flag of Panama or the Cayman Islands, such was his indignation at BA’s treatment of the Government’s assistance. This is no way to treat a businessman who has dedicated his career, as an Irishman, to making BA one of the world’s great airlines and representatives of Britain.

  47. MikeP
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Postscript to my comment above, Sam Terry’s 6-minute “contribution” I refer to started at 11:22:50 approx on Parliament TV playback on the 11th May.

  48. Original Richard
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    How is it that UK Trading Standards allows BA to use the name “British Airways” when it is wholly owned by a Spanish Company, IAG, of which a quarter is owned by Qatar Airways?

    • steve
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard

      I thought Qatar Airways owned IAG, but you’re right, it’s bad enough a British institution is pimped off to foreigners….but to still be using the word British is equally insulting.

      Don’t expect UK trading standards to do anything, they like all British institutions do as their EU masters say. 13A domestic wiring colours being an example, BSI cowards caved in like a cardboard bath seat on that one.

    • hefner
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      IAG is an Anglo-Spanish company listed both in London and Madrid, and you are free to buy shares as the Qataris have done in 2015 and more recently in February 2020. What is wrong with a working free market?

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Nothing wrong with a working free market.

        But the name “British Airways” is misleading the consumer.

        Would the French be happy if an Anglo-Spanish company sold cheese made outside of France with a brand name “French Cheese”?

        • hefner
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          I understand your point, but there are other companies that in the past or even still now were/are ‘British something’ and most people would not care: British Gas, BAE, BP, BT. Why so much fuss about British Airways? Are people/consumers so uninformed? Do they only buy their petrol from BP? Are they only using BT for phone and Internet?
          I just hope they check the prices and the services and not just go for a ‘British’ in the name of the company.

          • Original Richard
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            Because BA is described as a “flag carrier” or “national carrier”.

            BP and BT are no so described.

          • hefner
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            OK, fair enough. What does that entails the Government to do?

  49. Mark
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Impound their aircraft as security until they come to their senses. Pick the ones at each end of the parking taxiway so the others can’t be moved, and you only need to establish a debt worth a few million to secure the necessary injunction.

    Any refinancing should come with strings: IAG to divest their shareholding, with their shares floated back onto the UK stock market via a public offering. Not nationalisation. Tell Sid.

    • hefner
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      IAG is on the London Stock Exchange finishing the day at 287.10p

  50. glen cullen
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been informed by text that I will NOT be allowed admittance to my NHS GP surgery without a face mask/covering

    Are the NHS the new law makers in this country

    Very concerned by this development

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Well they have your taxes already. So the best thing they can do (from their perspective) is to deter as many “customers” as possible. Anything that does that – such as pushing infected patients into care homes, long waiting times in A&E, long waiting lists or demanding masks are worn, cancelling all routine operations, providing a dire service, refusing to treat fat people or smokers ………….means they have less to do and thus far more to spend on wages for senior managers.

      Even talk now of perhaps demanding people get a pass from a GP before they are even allowed to visit A&E I understand.

    • DOMINIC
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Don’t tell anyone but the Tories sold out to the leftist, authoritarian slime decades ago and now they kowtow to them because that’s the route of least resistance

      The great fear for the Tories is the emergence of TRUE conservative party to replace Labour and then expose the hypocrisy of the party that has now conned its way into No.10

      I bet in private many Tory MPs are ashamed to be a member of their own party though most won’t come out and admit it

      We are now at the mercy of the leftist terror, violence and Marxist hatred

      • Bob Dixon
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        I am waiting for this Conservative party to be formed.

        • glen cullen
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          You’re not the only one waiting

  51. BJC
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I heard a few months ago that BA was intent on getting rid of employees on old, preferential contracts, which I presume were retained following transfer under TUPE. I always understood that redundancy related to the post, not the postholder, so to fire staff only to refill a post that was never actually defunct, is worrying and would appear to stretch the spirit of employment law.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      If someone in rehired in that existing post in three months after the original person was made redundant then if they weren’t offered the opportunity to take back that job they can take the employer to a tribunal.

    • dixie
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      As far as I am aware a person can be made redundant if their role becomes redundant or their performance is not good enough provided the selection is fair.

  52. steve
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    JR

    “IAG have large cash reserves, will want to run airlines as we recover and has profited a lot in the past from its U.K. investment. So why is it picking on U.K. staff for redundancies?”

    As I read on the net, Qatar Airways owns IAG and hence British Airways. My question would be along the lines of – ‘what goon thinks it’s a good idea for anything British to be owned by foreigners’ ?

    • Butties
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Well said Steve. It is about time that companies who trade within the UK paid taxes to the UK on those trades. Will this occur in the current set up (whom ever is in power)? Ans Never. Land and company sales should also be tied to UK interests.

    • hefner
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Qatar Airways only owns 25.1% of IAG. And British Airways was privatised in 1987, Quiz: who was the Chief of Policy to the PM from May 1982 to November 1987?

  53. glen cullen
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Are the government making it up as they go along?

    The majority of ministers talk to the media about Laws, Rules, Regulations and Guidance as though they’re interchangeable….they’re not

    This confusion is fed to government bodies, departments, agencies and the police as gospel

    The latest shenanigans is the new debacle about wearing face masks

  54. Will in Hampshire
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    The most amazing thing about this quite bizarre post is that it’s not hard to imagine it being written by Jeremy Corbyn. What on earth was our host thinking?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      Perhaps he was thinking about his constituents given that it is close to Heathrow.

  55. DOMINIC
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Compared to the crimes of the Labour controlled public sector the lawful actions of IAG pale into meaningless

    Tory MPs need to stop expressing faux concern for the employment prospects of Unite union members and expose Labour’s crimes since 1997

  56. Everhopeful
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I see that, as I imagined, the govt. has lost control of education.
    What a kick in the teeth for all those who ever took the rubbish seriously!
    Effectively the schools have gone on strike?
    The Marxist unions are in control.
    Upside…kids no longer being indoctrinated!

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      How many of these ‘terrified parents’ and teachers who don’t want the children to go back to school allowed them or attended protests this week shoulder to shoulder with strangers in groups larger than 6 with no observation of the 2m rule, up close to police officers shouting in their faces?

      All those same people saying the government shouldn’t have let them go to Anfield to watch the footie mid-march, how many of them were stood in Liverpool? If we don’t see a spike in two weeks time then all the excuses to not resume disappear.

  57. Peter Parsons
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    “So why is it picking on U.K. staff for redundancies?”

    Because UK employment law says it can.

    Remind me again who it is that is responsible for legislating employment law in the UK.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Peter, how does our redundancy law differ from Spains?

      • hefner
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        I understand that in the UK the redundancy pay is obtained if one has worked with the employer for two or more years. It is equivalent to one week pay for each full year in work for someone aged between 22 and 41, and one and a half week pay for someone 41 years old and older, and this capped at a maximum of 20 years.
        In Spain following the change on 12/02/2012, a person made redundant is entitled to a 33 days pay for all years at work. Before the change, it was a 45 dias pay. (from the ‘legalitas’ website).
        So it is quite clear why IAG prefers to get rid of British employees, they are much cheaper to compensate.

  58. mancunius
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Dangers of Globalisation, no. 746,953: the country with the least employee protection will be ruthlessly dumped on: particularly where the Chairman of the multinat company is Spanish (and the ex-CEO of Iberia) and the CEO is Irish (and ex-CEO of Aer Lingus), and where the main lobbying thrust is in Brussels. It is even possible that Brussels has ‘suggested’ the cuts.

    Once IAG implements the promised 94% cut in its passenger capacity, the shares will be a bloodbath, a financial bailout will be needed and we can expect some form of further shakeup in the industry. The taxpayer should not be tapped for any of this.

  59. mancunius
    Posted June 4, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    IAG isn’t even a PLC: it is an SA, incorporated, domiciled and – most interestingly – taxed in Spain, and its Board meets in Madrid. So its furlough subsidies (and its enhanced UK airport facilities) come from the UK taxpayers, but its taxes benefit the Spanish/EU taxpayers.
    So the company has at least two further reasons for picking on the UK workers to sack, rather the others (who are all EU).

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Big mistake, BIG, HUGE! if IAG do. The Government won’t need to do anything about landing slots no point landing if you don’t have full planes.

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    To what extent is IAG foreign owned and was it a good idea for BA to form this alliance?

  61. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    The preposterous imminent travel quarantine laws are another kick in the teeth for airlines and their suppliers such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, fuel companies etc.. It would be astonishing if they didn’t need to make major job losses to survive.
    To have any hope of reducing the job losses Priti Patel need to resign forthwith.
    There is not the slightest chance of a long-term economic recovery if Boris (or is it Carrie?) persists in the ruinous zero carbon and dream-world green new world policies. The policies are so irrational I sometimes wonder, far-fetched as it may seem, if the Cabinet want to hobble aviation to avoid difficult decisions on Heathrow.

  62. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Job losses everywhere and people are moaning, saying if we stop free movement to the UK we will not have enough workers. Many of our staff are already on minimum wage so what’s the difference?

  63. Fair Cop
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    The government commanded the planes not to fly, without any scientific evidenced justification.Without political party’s’ mandate or public consultation. “The Best Health Service in the World”. Commanded by the Tory Party. Direct Debit Tory Party members! It’s only fair.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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