© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A British Airways Boeing 747 is seen at the Heathrow Airport in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways faces strike action over its plans to cut jobs, pay and conditions, the BBC reported on Tuesday, piling more pressure on the airline which has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis and faced more disruption this week from new UK quarantine rules on Spain.

Trade union Unite, which represents BA cabin crew, said that the airline is planning to fire and rehire thousands of its workers and that it planned to defend its members by immediately moving towards industrial action, the BBC reported.

British Airways, which is owned by IAG (L:) and Unite did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

BA said in April that it would need to cut up to 12,000 jobs to survive the coronavirus pandemic, which wiped out air travel for months and from which the aviation market will take years to recover.

Unite has accused BA of seeking to fire and rehire some workers on less favourable contracts. For many weeks the Union refused to engage in consultations with BA.

BA, like all airlines, is struggling to recover from the pandemic due to consumer worries over the virus and new restrictions are making the recovery even tougher.

A 14-day quarantine for travellers returning to Britain from Spain, a significant market for BA, came into force two days ago.

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