04/12/2012 08:39 GMT | Updated 04/12/2012 08:45 GMT

British Airways Announces 400 Cabin Crew Jobs Are Under Threat

British Airways has confirmed it will cut more than 400 senior cabin crew roles to solve an 'imbalance' within its staff.

A report in the Sun stated the airline had begun negotiations with unions over offering voluntary redundancy, targeting so-called "pursers", senior employees who are working on fewer shifts, as BA puts more junior staff in the skies.

Currently, BA has 14,000 cabin crew operating.

In a memo, BA's head of inflight experience Bill Francis said: "This winter we are faced with a growing imbalance in our senior grades. I can confirm I’ve started a 90-day consultation period to address this."

The cuts come at a tough time for airlines - increasing fuel costs and the pressure on consumers' wallets have caused many travel companies to feel the pinch.

Iberia, BA's sister airline, has already announced it plans to cut 4,500 jobs, leading to threats of pre-Christmas strikes.

In 2010 and 2011, BA was hit by a series of strikes over staffing levels, pay, and the removal of travel concessions, but it is understood strikes are unlikely at this time, unless forced redundancies are brought in.

A BA representative told the Huffington Post UK: "We are offering voluntary redundancy to some members of our senior cabin crew to help address an imbalance in our crew numbers.

"Based on the feedback from our senior cabin crew in the past few months, we believe that there will be good demand for this opportunity. We have now begun a 90-day consultation with Unite about the issues."