British Airways cancels flights as Pilots strike

British Airways
British Airways

Almost all flights by British Airways, totalling hundreds of departures, were cancelled on Monday as pilots launched a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pay.

The airline estimated that the two-day strike will affect 195,000 customers.

Most of British Airway’s 850 scheduled flights per day would be cancelled, with passengers being offered a refund or a later flight.

The strike has been labelled one of the biggest in the airline’s history, and the first by its pilots.

The airline said without information about which pilots would strike, “we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly.

“So, we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights.”

According to the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa), one day strike costs the airline about 40 million pounds (49 million dollars).

In July, the pilots declined an offer by British Airways of an 11.5 per cent pay rise over three years.

Advertisement

wits Advert

Unions that organise cabin crew staff and ground crew have accepted pay rises.

British Airways Chief Executive Alex Cruz urged Balpa to continue talks to end the strike.

“The discussions must continue, they must be unconditional,” he said.

The airline said on its website Monday: “We understand the frustration and disruption Balpa’s strike action has caused our customers.

“After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.”

London’s Heathrow airport will be worst affected as it is British Airway’s busiest hub. Terminal 5, the one mainly used by the airline, was compared to a ghost town.

Advertisement

Akwa-ibom Advert

British Airways said it flies to over 70 countries and transports more than 40 million customers a year.

There were also fears of a knock-on effect and delays on Wednesday since planes and pilots could be at other locations.

“British Airways has to wake up,” Balpa’s general secretary Brian Strutton said.

Pilots had to accept significant pay cuts during difficult times. Now that the airline was making money, it should give something back to its pilots.

“It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute,” he said.

A second strike is planned for September 27.

(dpa/NAN)

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.