Sunday, 22 September, 2019

British Airways pilots ground planes in unprecedented 48-hour strike

British Airways to cancel some flights to Israel amid pilot strikes Thousands of passengers' plans disrupted ahead of BA strikes
Patty Aguilar | 10 September, 2019, 13:23

Thousands of passengers will be disrupted this week as around 4,000 pilots from British Airways (IAG.L) start strike action on Monday (9 September) and continue into Tuesday (10 September).

The near-grounding of the British Airways (BA) due to the strike by its unionised pilots over pay issues, could have its cascading impact on the student community who fly to England for admissions around this time, warn the travel services industry.

BA said in a statement: "We understand the frustration and disruption Balpa's strike action has caused our customers".

Balpa reported support for the first day of the 48-hour strike, called in a bitter dispute over pay, was "virtually 100%".

The pilots have another strike scheduled for September 27.

Flights operated by BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair were not affected, British Airways said.

The union, which represents 85% of all commercial pilots flying in the United Kingdom, made the announcement in late August.

Pilots had to accept significant pay cuts during hard times.

The airline said it is willing to talks with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) which has resorted to the industrial action for the first time in decades.

The pilots union, which represents over 10,000 United Kingdom pilots across more than 20 companies, had accused the airline of profiting at the cost of its pilots' sacrifices, which BALPA says included pay cuts, reduced leave, and "closing the final salary pension scheme".

And more bad news for BA passengers.

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An unprecedented walkout by British Airways pilots will push up the price of a Christmas getaway, passengers have been warned, as hundreds more flights are set to be cancelled.

BA said it stands ready to return to talks with pilots' union Balpa and that it is offering affected customers full refunds or the option to rebook.

The Island's London City flights are operated by Loganair - this morning's flight departed as usual.

Our members' resolve is very strong and they remain very angry with British Airways, but they also want to leave no stone unturned in trying to find a resolution to their dispute.

British Airways said it flies to over 70 countries and transports more than 40 million customers a year.

BA defended the offer as "fair" and said it had already been endorsed by the Unite and GMB trade unions to the nearly 90% of BA staff they represent. The airline has accused Balpa of not acting in good faith by making "an eleventh hour inflated proposal" which BA said would cost an additional 50 million pounds.

More than 1700 flights were grounded on Monday after pilots refused to work in a long-running row over pay.

"They express concern about how BA is being run - whilst not acknowledging just how radically the marketplace has changed for the airline in recent years, with more intense and diverse competition of all kinds from low-priced to premium offers".

Balpa is also campaigning at Ryanair Holdings Plc, where United Kingdom pilots plan to walk out for an additional seven days.

The pilots have "consistently offered up chances for the company to negotiate a way forward", Strutton said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

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