British Airways’ plan to furlough more than 30,000 employees – a mix of cabin crew and ground staff – has been overwhelmingly ratified by union members.

Trade union Unite says members voted 99% in favour of a deal under which the UK airline will introduce a modified version of the government’s coronavirus job-retention scheme, which pays 80% of the salary of furloughed workers.

Unlike the government scheme, which limits monthly payments to a maximum of £2,500 ($3,060), Unite says there will be no cap on earnings for BA workers. They will be able to divert their pension contributions – about 9-18% of their earnings – into their pay “for a short period of time”. There will be no redundancies, and a redundancy process that had already begun “has been halted”.

Members “have recognised the seriousness of the situation facing the aviation sector during this unprecedented crisis, and so have voted to accept the deal negotiated by their union”, states Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett.

The airline’s parent company, IAG, has cut capacity by about 90% for April-May.