Internal restructuring
United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Transportation / Storage
Land, Water And Air Transportation
Air Transport
51 - Air transport

4,000 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
28 January 2004
Employment effect (start)
1 January 2004
Foreseen end date
1 December 2005


British Airways announced a new cost-cutting programme after the one started 2 years ago that saw its 58,000 strong workforce trimmed by 13,000. The airline said it wanted to reduce employee costs in its head office (in Waterside, near Heathrow) and support functions by 30% and in operational areas by 15%. The job cuts will be achieved by voluntary severance, early retirements, natural turnover and restricted recruitment as well as unpaid leave and part-time working. BA loses around 3,000 staff a year through natural wastage. Unions threatened industrial action after BA’s CEO declared he hoped to find the bulk of the savings through flexible working practices and by cracking down on unjustified sickness leave. They also pointed out – joining in that Heathrow’s local MP – that the company made a £135 million profit last year and that this round of redundancies was no longer necessary. Evidence in July 2004 indicates that staff from minority backgrounds have suffered disproportionately from the 13,000 job cuts as their representation fell 1.1% down to 31.9%.


  • 14 December 2003: The Observer
  • 5 January 2004: The Guardian
  • 29 January 2004: The Guardian
  • 26 January 2004: The Guardian


Eurofound (2004), British Airways (BA), Internal restructuring in United Kingdom, factsheet number 59570, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/59570.