It is understood that 10,000 British Airways workers are being made redundant as the airline battles with the slump in travel during the pandemic.

The UK’s national flag carrier confirmed more than 6,000 of the redundancies are voluntary and trade union Unite today said a further 4,000 job losses will be compulsory.

Cabin crew, engineers and airport staff are among those being told whether or not they will lose their jobs.

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “Our half-year results, published last week, clearly show the enormous financial impact of Covid-19 on our business.

“We are having to make difficult decisions and take every possible action now to protect as many jobs as possible.

“And, while we never could have anticipated being in a position of making redundancies, more than 6,000 of our colleagues have now indicated that they wish to take voluntary redundancy from BA.”

Unite said in a statement that denounced today’s redundancies as a “gross injustice marking a bleak day in BA’s history”.

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The union has written to its members to reassure them that it will provide advice to those receiving letters from the airline.

Unite is continuing to resist compulsory redundancies and has pledged to fight pay cuts that could see some staff lose £20,000 from their annual earnings.

The union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, has called upon BA to offer the deal that it struck with pilots to the rest of the workforce as a way to bring a fair resolution to the current crisis.

Howard Beckett, the union assistant general secretary, said: “This is a very bleak day for the incredible BA workforce and will go down in the history of the airline as the day that it put the interests of the boardroom ahead of its passengers and workforce.

“Make no mistake, 4,000 loyal workers are being forced out of the jobs that they love today by naked company greed. Unite will fight to the end to prevent more BA colleagues from suffering the same fate and we will do everything in our power to prevent compulsory redundancies and attacks on workers’ wages by a boardroom with billions in the bank.”

Last weekend, it was announced that BA pilots had voted to accept a deal from the airline that will see 270 pilot jobs lost and salaries reduced by 20%.

Unite has criticised the airline for pursuing a ‘fire and rehire’ policy during the pandemic, in an effort to “shed 12,000 employees and diminish the pay, terms and conditions of the remaining 30,000-plus”.