IAG is to cut capacity by around 90% during April and May, up from the figure of 75% previously indicated.

The group’s British Airways division has confirmed it will put more than 30,000 cabin crew and ground-based employees on furlough for the two-month period.

BA will apply to take advantage of the UK government’s job-retention scheme to cover payments for the personnel affected. The Unite and GMB unions have agreed to this proposal, which remains subject to ratification.

The airline’s pilot corps will also be put on unpaid leave for four week during the two-month interval.

IAG says its other airlines – including Iberia and Vueling – have received support from similar job retention and wage support schemes for more than 17,000 employees in Spain, and similar support is being sought in Ireland where IAG’s Aer Lingus is based.

It adds that it is continuing to take “every action” to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow.

IAG carriers have been maintaining cargo flights and services to repatriate customers as part of the company’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.