British Airways has reached an agreement with the U.K. trade union Unite to furlough staff without anyone being made redundant.
The flagship U.K. airline's agreement reportedly entails suspending 80% of its cabin crew, engineers, ground staff and head office employees. It will furlough staff on 80% of pay without any cap on earnings, according to Reuters, in what would be a modified version of the British government's job retention scheme.
The news comes amid the worsening coronavirus crisis, which has halted the majority of passenger travel globally and delivered a crippling blow to the airline industry. Many major airlines have slashed up to 90% of their operations and some have grounded their entire fleets.
Airline trade groups have warned that without rescue funds, huge numbers of staff are at risk of losing their jobs. The global air transport sector supported some 65 million jobs last year, according to the Air Transport Action Group.
The aviation sector is one of the worst-hit as economic activity plunges and countries impose lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.