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Hundreds of British Airways Staff to Work for Free

Eight hundred employees at British Airways will work for nothing for up to one month, as the UK flag-carrier scrambles to cut costs.

British Airways planes parked at Heathrow Airport in London, Wednesday Aug. 1, 2007. A British regulator on Wednesday fined British Airways 121.5 million pounds (US$ 246 million; euro 180 million) after the airline admitted colluding with a rival over surcharges on long-haul flights. BA said it accepted the fine from the Office of Fair Trading and expected to be hit with another penalty from the U.S. Department of Justice later in the day. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth
British Airways planes parked at Heathrow Airport in London, Wednesday Aug. 1, 2007. A British regulator on Wednesday fined British Airways 121.5 million pounds (US$ 246 million; euro 180 million) after the airline admitted colluding with a rival over surcharges on long-haul flights. BA said it accepted the fine from the Office of Fair Trading and expected to be hit with another penalty from the U.S. Department of Justice later in the day. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The volunteers will forego pay for one-week blocks for up to one month as the airline struggles to remain flying.

Almost 7,000 employees have accepted pay cuts or some kind. Four thousand have opted for voluntary unpaid leave, 1,400 will move to part-time hours and other 740 employees have also joined the cost-reduction scheme.

“This is a fantastic first response. I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help us pull through this difficult period, British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh said in a press statement.

The move, which BA said will save it £10 million ($16.3 million) in costs, follows an appeal to 30,000 workers to work for free.

BA's Chief Executive Willie Walsh has also waved his monthly salary, of £61,000 in July.