The plan will see a base created in the Spanish capital in which cabin crew will be based in an attempt to quell recent travel chaos. Over the Easter break, tens of thousands of travellers have seen their flights cancelled by the UK flag carrier as well as a host of other airlines.
Covid related staff absences, as well as huge delays in Government vetting processes for new staff, have been cited as reasons for this.
The chaos has caused a major blow to the airline industry which has still yet to fully recover from the slump caused by the lockdown and peak wave of the pandemic.
British Airways has seen around 1,400 flights cancelled since the start of April.
Experts suggest the impact and disruption witnessed by UK airports and travellers have been the worst in 10 years.
Fears are now emerging the crisis will continue into the summer period, which will add further doubt as holidaymakers and travellers emerge from the main impact of the virus and start making plans to fly again.
In an attempt to resolve the problem, British Airways are offering a £1,000 “welcome bonus” to any currently vetted staff from other airlines defecting to BA.
A job description by BA reads: “For candidates who are successfully offered a role through this campaign, we’re offering a welcome bonus of £1,000 – paid in two instalments – £500 after your first three months, £500 after six months in role.”
The eligibility criteria state: “Applicants with a notice period or other circumstances which prevent them from being able to commence training prior to July 2022 may not be eligible for the welcome bonus.”
Holiday chaos for A YEAR: Staff shortages and Covid threaten Britons t
The base in Madrid will see local staff hired by the company which is part of the wider IAG group.
Union bosses may take offence to the move as local pay rates in Spain are far lower than current salaries in the UK.
British Airways has in the past held foreign-based hubs in order to facilitate local languages, for example in Hong Kong.
This will be the first time a short-haul base will be created within Europe.
The current base, in London, has been in place for over a decade.
Other regional bases in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester were closed down years ago by the company.
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A spokesman for British Airways said: “We are looking at a range of temporary options to ensure we can support our customers this summer as we ramp our operation back up.”
British Airways has slipped down the rankings in the airline industry, many believe due to cuts made by former CEO Alex Cruz.
New chief, Sean Doyle is now seeking to refresh the brand.
The Irish executive brought back on-board complimentary food and drinks and issued a mea culpa to customers in January. “I’m not seeking to make excuses for things that should have gone better.
“What I am doing is making a personal commitment to you that we will build a better British Airways.”
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Anger has been building up with BA customers venting their frustration at the company.
Taking to Twitter, Nick Graham said: “Two months on and still awaiting compensation and expenses from British Airways for a flight cancellation and being stranded.
“Also not awarded tier points and Avios owed.
“Will not be retaining silver executive club – why should I be loyal to such poor customer service?”
Paul Bourke said: “Submitted a claim for compensation on 4 March following flight cancellation on 26 February.
“Heard nothing other than email confirming receipt.
“I am £3000 out of pocket.
“When can we expect reimbursement?
“Customer Services won’t even answer phones!”