British Airways plans to cut pilot numbers by a quarter - letterBritish Airways plans to cut pilot numbers by a quarter - letter
FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bournemouth

PARIS (Reuters) – British Airways is seeking to cut pilot numbers by a quarter as it slashes costs to weather the coronavirus crisis, according to a letter sent to union leaders and seen by Reuters.

Under the plan, BA would cut 1,130 captain and co-pilot jobs from its headcount of 4,346, the IAG-owned <ICAG.L> airline’s head of flight operations told the BALPA union in the letter.

“In a short space of time the situation has significantly deteriorated,” the April 28 letter reads, adding that BA may yet be forced to suspend the few services still running from London Heathrow.

“There are no clear signs of improvement in air passenger demand,” it adds.

A spokeswoman for BA did not immediately return calls and messages seeking comment on the planned cuts, which were first reported by Sky News.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by David Goodman)