Fact Check: Is British Airways Shutting Operations Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic?
Writer: Aditi Chattopadhyay
Aditi, part of the fact checking team of The Logical Indian likes to read, write, cook and laugh, in short live life as it is supposed to be. What makes her fascinated is to discover the truth behind a story and more often than not, it is either fact or myth at the end.
India, 2 July 2020 12:07 PM GMT
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The Logical Indian Fact check team investigates the claim that British Airways is shutting operations after 70 years of service.
A WhatsApp forward which says that 'British Airways' is shutting down its flight operations is doing the rounds lately.
The message comes with a video in which the narrator can be heard bidding 'Goodbye' and saying 'Thank You' to all the customers of British Airways across the world. "British airways saying goodbye to the world. Just unbelievable for one of the highest profit making airline company for last 70 years,'' reads the message being circulated.
The Logical Indian received multiple requests to verify the claims made in the video.
The video was also shared on Twitter and Facebook.
Thank you & goodbye 👋 #BritishAirways pic.twitter.com/qzHqlQUL90— Yosha Joseph🇰🇼 (@Yosha71) June 28, 2020
Reportedly, British Airways has suffered considerably through the decline in international travel as nations across the world sealed off their borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of the crisis, the airline has been operating out of its base at Heathrow's Terminal 5. They have suspended its operations from Gatwick.
British Airways is shutting operations after 70 years of service.
The claim is false.
No Official Confirmation
No such official announcements were found on social media accounts of 'British Airways'. Even the website of 'British Airways' does not show any notice or press release regarding the shutting down of operations.
A reverse search of a screenshot from the video led to the same video which was uploaded on Youtube on June 13 by a channel called 'Unite the Union Yout'.
"British Airways has applied to dismiss all of its staff from 15 June 2020. Before we leave you, the staff of British Airways would like to say thank you and goodbye," reads the caption of the video.
The about section of this account shows that it was created in October 2018 and has 785 followers.
Below is a screenshot of the about section of this account:
According to a report by the BBC, which was published on June 13, British Airways had planned a major restructuring, which could mean up to 12,000 redundancies and changes to the terms and conditions of the remaining staff.
A google search with the name of the youtube account led to Unite the Union's website.
'Unite the Union' represents the British Airways (BA) cabin crew.
Reportedly, BA had planned to cut 12,000 staff, or more than a quarter of its workforce, to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and has also angered unions by proposing new contracts for the workers it keeps.
The trade union had responded by lobbying for the law to be changed to allow BA to be stripped of some valuable take-off and landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport if it proceeds with its plans.
Below is a screenshot of the original 'Unite the Union' youtube account which has 2.6k subscribers:
Further, British Airways, on June 20, video which said that the Airways is looking forward to welcoming customers back on board once the COVID-19 induced lockdowns are lifted.
On June 30, the airlines announced a flexibility feature to change the date and destination of bookings made latest by August 31 for travel by 30 April 2021, on their official Twitter account.
Plans can change. If you make a new booking by 31 August for travel by 30 April 2021, you can change your date, destination or cancel for a voucher. Find out more at https://t.co/AFkXsCMjQI pic.twitter.com/9TlT5RU7vT— British Airways (@British_Airways) June 30, 2020
Thus, we can conclude that the airline is still operating.
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