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Pilots union says ‘Fat Cat’ bonuses for airline bosses are an insult to staff losing jobs and taking pay cuts  

The British Airline Pilots Association has criticised the payment of huge bonuses to airline bosses at a time when many pilots and staff are bearing the financial brunt of COVID-19 in the shape of redundancies, furlough and huge insecurity.

It comes as an influential investor advisory firm has urged Ryanair shareholders to oppose boss Michael O’Leary’s proposed 458,000 euro ($540,600) annual bonus, in a non-binding vote later this month.

Criticism of O’Leary’s package follows the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommendation against British Airways owner IAG’s 883,000 pound ($1.17 million) send-off for retiring CEO Willie Walsh.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said:

“It beggars belief that airline bosses can shamelessly take government aid, slash jobs and then trouser huge bonuses.

“COVID-19 has hit aviation hard and unprecedented measures have been agreed by BALPA and the other unions to try and help companies survive.

“Staff have done their bit so it’s a real slap in the face to see the bosses queuing up with their snouts in the trough.”