British Airways cancels 1,600 flights because of industrial strike action

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood September 9, 2019 09:25

British Airways cancels 1,600 flights because of industrial strike action

British Airways (BA) has cancelled nearly 1,600 flights on 9 and 10 September after it was left with “no option” as a result of the industrial action called by cockpit union BALPA.

Thousands of passengers are at risk of being stranded and face incurring unforeseen costs following the decision by BA to cease all dialogue with their pilots in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Although travellers were given a two weeks’ notice of the cancellations, freeing BA from any compensation liability, the lengthy delays and cancellations are an inevitable annoyance for travellers, as planes remain grounded and allocated seats remain empty. 

A statement from Balpa explains that BA is making around £2 billion profit and the cost of the union’s latest proposal is less than £5 million more than British Airways previously offered. Meanwhile one day of strike action costs around £40 million.     

Balpa has claimed that an offer to hold talks last week was ignored by BA.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “British Airways needs to wake up and realise its pilots are determined to be heard.

“They’ve previously taken big pay cuts to help the company through hard times. Now BA is making billions of pounds of profit, its pilots have made a fair, reasonable and affordable claim for pay and benefits.

“BALPA has consistently offered up chances for the company to negotiate a way forward. British Airways must now put the needs of its staff and passengers first and accept that its pilots will not be bullied or fobbed off.

“But the company’s leaders, who themselves are paid huge salaries and have generous benefits packages, won’t listen, are refusing to negotiate and are putting profits before the needs of passengers and staff.

“This strike will have cost the company considerably more than the investment needed to settle this dispute. It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute.”

British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) revealed that 93% of its members voted on 22 July to strike over pay.

Pilots rejected BA’s offering of 11.5% rise over three years, which the airline said is “fair and generous”.

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood September 9, 2019 09:25