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British Airways pilots have accepted a deal that will temporarily cut pay by 20 per cent and eliminate more than 200 jobs, the pilots’ union said on Friday.

“The deal means that there will be temporary 20 per cent pay cuts reducing to 8 per cent over two years and towards zero over the longer term,” British Airline Pilots Association said in a statement.

“Regrettably, there will still be some compulsory redundancies which are currently estimated to be 270 although that number will fall as mitigations take effect”, the statement added.

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The ballot result was 85 per cent to accept the deal on an 87 per cent turnout. There will be no “fire and rehire” of pilots, the union said.

U.K. lawmakers have previously criticized BA, alleging that it used a furlough “fire and rehire” scheme, a tactic used by companies forcing employees to accept inferior terms.

Earlier this year, British Airways, which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, was seeking to lay off a quarter of its pilots, according to a letter sent to the union and seen by Reuters.

Global curbs imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic have slammed air travel, putting the future of many airline companies in doubt.

“We do not expect our company to return to 2019 levels of business until at least 2023 and therefore we need to act now to reshape our company for a very different future”, British Airways said in an emailed statement.

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