British Airways has begun informing thousands of staff whether they will be made redundant, as part of its plan to cut 12,000 positions.

Around half of these planned redundancies will be voluntary, the IAG-owned carrier says, with staff who are being given forced redundancies being informed today.

“Our half year results, published last week, clearly show the enormous financial impact of Covid-19 on our business. We are having to make difficult decisions and take every possible action now to protect as many jobs as possible.”, the carrier says.

“And, while we never could have anticipated being in a position of making redundancies, more than 6,000 of our colleagues have now indicated that they wish to take voluntary redundancy from BA.”

Of the 6,000 staff who have opted for voluntary redundancy, around 4,500 are cabin crew working out of Heathrow and Gatwick.

Staff who are being retained are also being informed whether they will continue on the same employment conditions or will be required to sign contracts. Non-retained staff will have the option to join the company’s Priority Return Talent Pool, that will fast track former staff into new roles that become available.

British Airways says the cuts are necessary because it is currently flying less than 20% of its expected schedule and is burning through £20 million per day, while its largest markets, the USA and India, remain closed. The carrier posted a second quarter loss of £711m on 31 July.