British Airways to start hiring cabin crew for next summer

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FILE PHOTO: BA Airbus A319 aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways, which axed thousands of staff during the pandemic, said it will start hiring new cabin crew for next summer, preparing for growth in travel demand in 2022.

The airline, owned by parent group IAG, made about 10,000 staff redundant in 2020 when COVID-19 grounded planes for months.

Some cabin crew who lost their jobs opted to be considered for future BA jobs, and BA said it had already contacted those ex-staff. New recruits were also being considered.

"After 18 long months of closed or restricted borders across the world, we are finally seeing a demand for travel return as countries start to open up and ease their restrictions," BA chief executive Sean Doyle said in a statement on Thursday.

Unite, the union which represents BA cabin crew, told the Financial Times this month that the airline was looking to rehire about 3,000 staff. British Airways declined to comment on how many new hires it needed.

Travel from Britain has been slower to recover than most other parts of Europe as the government has kept COVID-19 rules for longer. Eurocontrol data showed that in the two weeks to Oct. 11, the number of flights in and out of the UK was down 41% from the same period in 2019.

BA said applications were open and it would start training courses for staff in January.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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