British Airways scraps flights as impact of pilot strike lingers

Walkout ended midnight Sept. 10
By Christopher Jasper and Siddharth Philip
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/16/2019
Labour strike
The two sides remain deadlocked in their dispute over pay following the strike, with the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) saying BA must return to the negotiating table with “meaningful proposals” to avert the next scheduled walkout on Sept. 27, or face the likelihood of further protests. Shutterstock

LONDON (Bloomberg) — British Airways (BA) cancelled dozens of flights Wednesday as it wrestled with the fallout from a two-day pilot strike.

While more than 90 per cent of services will operate as normal, the morning timetable is subject to changes as the U.K. arm of IAG SA works to get hundreds of planes and pilots back into position, the carrier said in an emailed statement.

BA, based at London Heathrow airport, scrapped all but a handful of flights during the 48-hour walkout that ended just before midnight on Tuesday. The strike action impacted travel plans for close to 200,000 people and cost the airline 40 million pounds (US$49 million) a day based on its own estimates.

“The nature of our highly complex, global operation means that it will take some time to get back to a completely normal flight schedule,” BA said.

The two sides remain deadlocked in their dispute over pay following the strike, with the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) saying BA must return to the negotiating table with “meaningful proposals” to avert the next scheduled walkout on Sept. 27, or face the likelihood of further protests.

Pilots want BA to make the next move after it dismissed a revised pitch from BALPA prior to the strike as costing an extra 50 million pounds. The airline says its own proposals would lift remuneration for cockpit crews 11.5 per cent to 202,000 pounds, including benefits, making them among the best paid in the world.

The union demands relate to pay, profit sharing, and stock awards. It called the strike after mediated talks at the state-backed Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service failed. Members voted to walk out by a 93 per cent majority.

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