On Monday British Airways said it had been forced to cancel almost all its flights from British airports on the first day of a pilots’ strike.
British Airways said in a statement, “After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.”
The UK flag carrier and its 4,300 pilots have been locked in a nine-month pay dispute that could disrupt the travel plans of nearly 300,000 people.
“Unfortunately, with no detail from British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) on 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 percent of our flights”.
On Tuesday Pilots will continue their strike and threatening to strike for one more day on September 27 and then possibly again closer to the winter holidays should the dispute rage on.
BALPA has rejected a pay increase of 11.5 percent over three years that the airline proposed in July. It also points out that two other unions representing 90 percent of the airlines’ workers have accepted the 11.5 percent raise.
BA says the offer would see flight captains receive “world-class” pay and benefits of around £200,000 ($246,000 or 220,000 euros) a year.
BALPA counters that co-pilots’ salaries average around £70,000 and that of junior ones drop down to just £26,000.
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13 November, 2019