British Airways pilots' strike enters 2nd day as IAG labour woes spread

BRITISH Airways (BA) has cancelled nearly all of its 850 daily flights, affecting more than 100,000 passengers, reports Al Jazeera

11 September 2019 - 19:00

BRITISH Airways (BA) has cancelled nearly all of its 850 daily flights, affecting more than 100,000 passengers, reports Al Jazeera.

In an operational update issued last week, IAG Cargo told customers to check to see if their flights had been affected, reported London's Air Cargo News.

'We are working on limiting the operational impact this unacceptable action will have, and we will continue to keep customers updated with the latest information,' IAG Cargo said.

'On September 9, 10 and 27, we are not expecting to operate cargo services on British Airways passenger aircraft. We are also expecting some mild disruption on the days surrounding these strike dates.

'If you have contracted block space agreements or regular flows of business on any of these dates please contact your local IAG Cargo sales teams to discuss alternative options.'

It added that the flights of other members of the IAG Group - Vueling, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Level - as well as its trucking and freighter BSA agreements were unaffected.

The walkout over pay, said the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) trade union follows nine months of failed talks.

A strike has entered its second day and the carrier, which is owned by London-listed International Airlines Group (IAG), said it has cancelled nearly 100 per cent of its daily flights.

This is the first in BA's 100-year history, has seen flights axed for 200,000 travellers, mostly from London Gatwick and Heathrow airports, reports New York's Air Cargo World.

BA has estimated the strike could cost about GBP40 million (US$49 million) a day.

IAG's labour woes could even get worse. Spanish union UGT told BA sister unit Iberia that it will call a strike of ground workers, saying the airline broke off talks on a revised collective agreement.

With the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) union planning another walkout on September 27 in addition to Tuesday, BA chief executive Alex Cruz told the BBC its cockpit crews had been offered a deal that would have lifted remuneration 11.5 per cent to GBP202,000, including benefits, making the pilots among the best paid in the world.

BALPA general cecretary Brian Strutton disputed the figures and said that most union members at BA will earn far less. The union put the cost of settling the strike at GBP5 million, 'one-eighth of the cost of just one day's strike action.' The pilots are seeking 'a share of record profits just as they shared the pain in the bad times,' Mr Strutton said.


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