British Airways is not in ‘crisis talks’ with the government about vaccinated pilots

18 June 2021
What was claimed

Three British Airways pilots have died of the Covid-19 vaccine in the last seven days.

Our verdict

Four British Airways pilots have recently died but the company says the deaths are not “linked”. The MHRA says it hasn’t been told about any deaths of pilots after vaccination, and has not had discussions with any airline about preventing vaccinated pilots from flying.

We’ve been asked by our readers to check claims made by a number of websites and social media posts that three British Airways pilots have died from the Covid-19 vaccine and that the company is in crisis talks with the UK government because of this.

This is not true.

It seems to stem from a voice recording of someone claiming that their “friend who’s a pilot for BA” had been told that a third pilot had died after getting their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, a picture has emerged on social media of four books of condolence for deceased British Airways pilots.

British Airways told Full Fact that it was true that “four members of our pilot community passed away recently” but that “there is no truth whatsoever in the claims on social media speculating that the four deaths are linked.” The image of the books of condolence seems likely to be genuine and for these four staff.

The company has reiterated that on Twitter.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory (MHRA) told Full Fact it was not true that the airline was in crisis talks with them or the government.

Dr Sarah Branch, Director of Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines for the MHRA, said: “We have not been made aware of deaths of BA pilots after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and have not had discussions with BA or other airlines about preventing pilots from flying after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

“There are currently no restrictions on aviation or other industries and activities post vaccination.

“Our advice remains that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks in the majority of people.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because there’s no evidence the deaths were because of the vaccines and BA is not in crisis talks over vaccinated pilots.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.