Most British Airways flights cancelled as pilots begin two-day pay strike

11 Septembre, 2019, 03:37 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • British Airways cancels almost all flights due to pilots’ strike

British Airways on Tuesday (Sept 10) cancelled hundreds of departures for the second day running as pilots continued a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pay.

"We understand the frustration and disruption of BALPA's strike action has caused you".

After the weekend yielded little progress toward a resolution of the pay dispute, a British Airways spokesperson said on Sunday that the airline had cancelled "the vast majority" of its 850 daily flights on Monday and Tuesday.

British Airways is offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to rebook to other travel days or other airlines.

Business travellers and those vacationing are being left stranded at airports as British Airways confirmed it has had to cancel "nearly 100 percent of flights" due to strike action being taken by pilots. British Airways' parent company, IAG, made a net profit of 2.9 billion euros (US$3.2 billion) past year.

But BA only upped the stakes by reportedly threatening to strip pilots and their families of free travel perks if the strike action goes ahead.

Both parties have said they were willing to negotiate.

The strikes were voted for by 93 per cent of BALPA BA members.

Last night the Balpa pilots' union promised a "lengthy" campaign of industrial action until the row is resolved.

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At the center of the turmoil is a dispute over an offer by British Airways for an 11.5 percent salary increase over three years at a time the airline is posting healthy profits.

British Airways aircraft are seen at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018.

The Civil Aviation Authority says that passengers have the legal right to get BA to pay for a replacement flight to get to your destination - even if that means going on another airline. The strike may undermine that growth, with the carrier saying it could cost 40 million pounds a day.

The union accuses BA of making massive profits at the expense of workers who made sacrifices during hard times.

"It is completely unacceptable that BALPA is destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action", said BA in a statement when the strikes were first announced.

In addition to the pilot strike, the airport could face further disruption this week, as environmental campaign group Heathrow Pause threatens to use drones to try and ground flights. Last year British Airways apologized for a data breach that exposed the personal information of customers involved in some 380,000 transactions; the year before, a series of IT failures caused chaos at its two major hubs out of London.

British Airways told passengers that if they had a flight booked on Monday or Tuesday they will not be able to board those flight and travel overseas as planned.

"I think British Airways took the decision some weeks ago that they would close down the airline operation and it's up to them to do things that way".

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