Blue sky thinking BA looks for flexible working to save jobs

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The Independent Online

British Airways is asking staff to consider taking unpaid holidays, working part-time or job sharing in a move intended to stave off redundancies. Letters were sent last week to 2,800 passenger services staff, who work at the firm's Heathrow, Gatwick and regional airport operations across the UK, to gauge interest.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh, above, unveiled a 90 per cent fall in first-half profits last month, describing 2008 as "one of the bleakest years" yet for the airline industry.

A spokesman said the letter was "part of a wider review of the business ... to gauge interest in voluntary flexible working options", adding that it was not a formal offer at this stage.

BA has revealed plans to cut more than 100 jobs at Gatwick as it reduces services there by 15 per cent from the middle of next year. Mr Walsh is in talks with Iberia and Qantas airlines over possible mergers.