Coronavirus: BA pilot becomes Tesco delivery driver

Peter Login had worked for BA for just four months before the coronavirus upturned the travel industry. (Peter Login/ Twitter)

A British Airways pilot has taken a temporary job as a delivery driver for Tesco during the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Login had worked for the airline for just four months before the crisis disrupted the travel industry.

Last week, BA announced it was grounding all flights at Gatwick and dramatically cutting its services at Heathrow as demand collapsed.

More than 30,000 of the company’s ground and cabin staff have been suspended with 80% pay, while its pilots have agreed to a 50% pay cut during April and May as the airline battles to survive.

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Pilots have also been told to take two weeks of unpaid leave in each month – but the reduction to their wages will be spread over the next three months.

Login decided to make the switch after Tesco said it was expanding its home delivery and click & collect capacity.

Login now drives a Tesco delivery van to deliver food to homes as Tesco beefs up its home delivery services. (Peter Login/Twitter)

He tweeted: “@British-Airways 747 keys hung up for a while. Back in the cockpit with @Tesco.” 

The store said it has added more than 200 new vans and hired another 2,500 drivers and 5,000 store pickers to help handle increased demand following lockdown.

Read more: Inside the new 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital at London’s ExCel centre

This is the second time in a year that Login has found himself out of work; he worked for Thomas Cook for three years before the travel operator went bust last September.

His partner Marianne Whiston, an air hostess whom he met at Thomas Cook, also lost her job.

Twitter users were quick to commend Login for “setting a great example” by joining as a frontline key worker.

Stu Whiteman said: “What an absolute superstar you are. That dogged spirit & can-do, will-do attitude will get us through this, yours is such a great example.

“For everyone else, it’s simple; either help the nation by doing the Key Work required, or stay at Home. Nothing else, just one of those two!”

Brad Tate wrote: “Shows a lot of character, Peter. I hope you’re back on the flight deck soon.”

Read more: NHS doctor pleads for more coronavirus protective equipment

Login worked for BA for just for months before the pandemic caused chaos in the travel industry. (Peter Login/ Twitter)

In message to BA employees titled "The Survival of British Airways", chairman Alex Cruz said the current crisis was more serious for the airline industry than 9/11 and the financial crash.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA's owner IAG, has taken a 20% pay cut for the rest of his contract until the end of June, according to the Financial Times.

As of 9am on Sunday, 47,806 people across the UK had tested positive for coronavirus.

Last month chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the government's plan to protect workers who lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

Staff who are furloughed and put on temporary leave will be paid through government grants to their companies.

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