Thousands of BA crew join COVID-19 fight

By Bev Fearis, published 3/04/20

Thousands of British Airways cabin and flight crew are signing up to join the UK-wide volunteer effort to help with the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline, which has now cut its flight schedules by 90 per cent and has furloughed more than 30,000 staff, said employees now have “more time available and an appetite to volunteer”.

"Their advanced first aid qualifications, combined with their natural passion for looking after people, means that they can bring both technical training and natural kindness to a range of desperately needed roles for a range of organisations, including the NHS," said BA.

It said operations and logistics teams can also use their skills to benefit the community-at-large.

Louise Evans, Director of External Communications and Sustainability, said: "We've had an overwhelming response to our request for volunteers from across British Airways to help in the community fight against coronavirus.

"We're part of the fabric of Britain and we want to play our role in these unprecedented times. Thanks to the nature of our business, we can contribute a unique set of skills from advanced first aid training, to experience caring for and reassuring people to managing complex logistics - all of which can deliver real care within the community."

Some crew are volunteering to support NHS workers at the Nightingale hospitals being set up in London, Manchester and Birmingham or to help transport patients and NHS workers.

BA is also putting volunteers in touch with the St John Ambulance, to assist emergency response units or to help take 999 or 111 calls, and with the Red Cross and a number of food bank providers.

It is also donating in-flight wash bags, socks and blankets to various NHS trusts.

BA’s drive comes as many furloughed staff at Virgin Atlantic and easyJet are also signing up to assist with the pandemic efforts.

Airline crew are particularly in demand because they are first aid trained and security cleared.