BA to reinstate pay of former Dan-Air staff: Decision will add pounds 1m to annual salary bill

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IN AN uncharacteristic show of generosity, British Airways is to reverse the pay cuts it imposed on former Dan-Air staff when it took over the loss-making Gatwick-based airline last November, writes Michael Harrison.

The decision will cost BA pounds 400,000 in back-pay and add pounds 1m to its annual pay bill on top of the losses it expects to make at Gatwick for at least another year.

At the time of the takeover BA imposed a 10 per cent cut in salaries on former Dan-Air employees and attempted to force its own staff at Gatwick to take a 20 per cent pay cut. The aim was to turn Gatwick around to profit after years of heavy losses.

But BA backed down from cutting the pay of its own staff in the face of threatened industrial action. Now it has reinstated the pay of the 120 Dan-Air pilots and 330 cabin crew taken on.

Cabin crew will receive pay increases of between pounds 800 and pounds 1,500 taking their salaries to pounds 7,500- pounds 14,000 depending on seniority. Senior captains' pay will rise by more than pounds 5,000 to pounds 50,000 while flight crew on basic grades will earn pounds 25,000.

BA is expected to lose at least pounds 60m on its Gatwick operations this financial year. However, a spokesman said: 'The performance on the 12 routes operated by the former Dan-Air staff has been so much better than expected that we have decided to share that success with the staff.'

Staff at Gatwick that have always been employed by BA will still enjoy higher salaries, however, since their pay rates were 10 per cent higher on average than those paid by Dan-Air.