British Airways has been forced to put thousands of employees back on furlough due to the low number of destinations on the government’s green list.
The airline had started to bring back staff from furlough ahead of the reopening of international travel on 17 May.
But this move has now been reversed with the small number of countries currently on the green list – Portugal was removed on Tuesday (8 June) because of increased Covid-19 cases and the emergence of a “Nepal variant”, leaving just 11 countries classified as green.
According to the BBC, many BA workers will go on flexible furlough allowing them to continue working part-time in the hope that international travel will open more widely as the summer progresses.
“Like many companies we’re using the furlough scheme to protect jobs during this unprecedented crisis,” said a spokesperson for the airline.
“However, it’s vital the government follows its risk-based framework to reopen international travel as soon as possible, putting more low-risk countries, like the US, on its green list at the next available opportunity.”
The government has set up a new taskforce to try to reopen transatlantic travel between the UK and US as soon as possible.