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British Airways returns staff to furlough

British Airways returns staff to furlough

British Airways has put thousands of staff back on the government furlough scheme following delays to the reopening of international travel.

The flag-carrier had begun to bring people back ahead of the easing of restrictions on foreign holidays on May 17th.

However, a decision to remove Portugal from the safe travel list, essentially closed outbound travel for the foreseeable future.

Only a small number of countries remain on the green list, including St Helena and Gibraltar, meaning travellers do not have to quarantine on their return.

Moreover, official advice remains not to visit amber countries for leisure.


It is understood a large number of BA staff were already on furlough, but this change means many more will go back onto the government wage support scheme.

Many will go onto the flexible furlough scheme and work part time, in the hope international travel will recommence soon.

Those affected include management staff and those not linked to safety operations and plane critical roles.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “Like many companies we are using the furlough scheme to protect jobs during this unprecedented crisis.

“However, it is vital the government follows its risk-based framework to re-open international travel as soon as possible, putting more low-risk countries, like the US, on its green list at the next available opportunity.”

British Airways joined a number of carriers in calling for the reopening of transatlantic travel earlier this week – a demand that was subsequently ignored by the government.