Published on Friday, August 23, 2019

BA pilots to strike on three dates in September

The union representing British Airways pilots has announced three strike days next month.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has today given notice to BA that strikes will take place on September 9, 10 and 27.

BALPA estimates each strike day will cost BA £40m. The union said: "Three days will cost in the region of £120m. The gap between BA's position and BALPA's position is about £5m. Our proposal remains on the table should BA wish to reach agreement prior to strike action."

BALPA said it called the strike after BA refused to accept 'a number of packages' the union put forward over several days of talks at ACAS.

"It is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA's most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots," BALPA added.

"In these circumstances, with a 93% vote in favour of taking industrial action, and with no prospect of any further meaningful talks, we have no choice but to call this action."

BALPA warned more strike dates could be announced this year.

BA has responded by saying: "It is completely unacceptable that BALPA is destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action.

"We are extremely sorry that after many months of negotiations, based on a very fair offer, BALPA has decided on this reckless course of action.

"We are now making changes to our schedule.  We will do everything we can to get as many people away on their journeys as possible. However, it is likely that many of our customers will not be able to travel and we will be offering refunds and re-bookings for passengers booked on cancelled flights."

BA said it is working with partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take more flyers; exploring options to wet-lease crew and aircraft. The airline added flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected.

BA added: "We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers' travel plans."

However, within 24 hours of the strike dates being announced, BA dealt with 40,000 phone calls.

The airline has apologised to thousands of passengers who were wrongly told their flights had been cancelled around the dates of the planned strikes.

Meanwhile, BALPA's general secretary has been criticised for jetting off on holiday the day after the strikes were announced.


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