BA to ground aircraft, cut staff to tackle unprecedented crisis-memo

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - British Airways will ground aircraft like never before and lay off staff due to coronavirus in a battle by the company to tackle what its chief executive called the most serious crisis in aviation history.

“It is a crisis of global proportions like no other we have known,” BA CEO Alex Cruz told staff in a global message seen by Reuters. BA is owned by IAG.

“Please do not underestimate the seriousness of this for our company,” he added.

Cruz told staff in the message that jobs would be lost “perhaps for a short period, perhaps longer term” and that the company was in discussions with trade unions. Aircraft would be grounded in a way that the airline has never had to do before, he added. (Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)