British Airways is preparing to cancel flights on at least five consecutive days in September following the announcement by pilots represented by the British Airline Pilots Association that they will take industrial action on 9, 10 and 27 September in a dispute over pay. Some customers scheduled to fly between 8 and 12 September have been told that their flight has been cancelled.
British Airways said: “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.
“Our proposed deal of 11.5% over three years is very fair and well above the UK’s current rate of inflation and, by contrast to BALPA, has been accepted by the members of the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90% of all British Airways colleagues, including engineers, cabin crew and ground staff. In addition to basic pay, pilots also receive annual pay increments and regular flying allowances.”
In a statement, BALPA said: “A day of strike action will cost BA around £40 million. Three days will cost in the region of £120 million. The gap between British Airways’ position and BALPA’s position is about £5 million. Our proposal remains on the table should British Airways wish to reach agreement prior to strike action.”