The chief executive of British Airways has been slammed for increasing his salary ‘by £530,000’ while asking pilots to ‘return to the negotiating table’ after they begun a two day strike over pay.
Earlier today on Good Morning Britain, British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz was asked how he could justify his own pay increase from £830,000 last year to £1.36 million, which is a lot more than the 11.5% being offered to BA pilots.
Social media users condemned his pay rise of ‘over 50%’ and said they could sympathise with striking pilots.
One wrote: ‘Honestly can’t believe the amount of people slagging off BA pilots and saying they’re greedy.
‘Alex Cruz, CEO, is on £1.36 million a year and has never once delivered a passenger safely to their destination! He gladly accepted a 61% pay rise in 2017.’
British Airways had to cancel ‘almost 100%’ of flights following the decision by members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), to begin a 48 hour strike over pay.
It is estimated that 145,000 passengers will be affected by the flight cancellations, with 1,700 flights to and from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Monday and Tuesday cancelled.
The company says it has offered a pay rise of 11.5% over three years, taking the pay of some captains to more than £200,000.
However Balpa has said that pilots should be remunerated with higher pay packets, with many initially taking pay cuts, given the recent profits that BA has made.
A spokesperson for Balpa said: ‘Loyal pilots, who previously made huge sacrifices to support British Airways through tougher times have asked for a fair and reasonable pay deal, but the company’s fat cat managers, who are themselves on extremely good pay and benefits packages, flatly refuse to negotiate with their staff.
‘Fundamentally BA pilots have lost trust and confidence in their management through relentless cost- and corner-cutting.
‘BA need to recognise that fact, resolve this dispute, and work to regain the trust and confidence of their staff.’
However, a BA spokesperson has said that the average salary of a captain would be above £200,000, should they accept the 11.5% pay increase.
The spokesperson also said that the pay figure for the chief executive included bonuses, share options, pension contributions and other benefits, that could not be compared ‘like for like’ with the basic package of a pilot, which does not include their benefits and bonuses.
They added: ‘We are very sorry that the cynical action of the pilots’ union has left our customers and colleagues in this position and remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA.
‘By any measure this strike is an own goal. It punishes our customers, it punishes our colleagues it punishes our brand and it punishes our pilots who want to come to work every day to make British Airways the best airline in the world.’