British Airways is to cut 400 senior cabin crew jobs across its short and long-haul network.
The carrier insisted that all redundancies would be voluntary and had already started a 90-day consultation process with staff.
"We are offering voluntary redundancy to some members of our senior cabin crew to help address an imbalance in our crew numbers," said the airline.
"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."
Cabin crew union Unite said the cuts affected cabin crew working exclusively on either BA’s short or long-haul routes but not those who work across both.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “This is a bitter disappointment at a time of economic uncertainty and will be a blow for loyal staff who now face an uncertain Christmas and new year.
“We will be working to ensure that BA keeps its promise of ‘no compulsory’ redundancies. Any attempts to force people, wanting to continue working for BA, out of a job will be resisted.”
The move comes as sister airline Iberia is set to axe 4,500 jobs. The announcement of these cuts has led to the calling of six days of strike action by staff of the Spanish carrier later this month.
BA’s cuts are set to come into effect from March 2013 and will affect senior cabin crew posts. The airline was previously involved in a long-running industrial dispute with cabin crew union Unite which ended in August 2011.
BA currently employs around 14,000 cabin crew across its fleet.