British Airways faces possible pilot strike

93 per cent of BA pilots represented by Balpa union voted in favour of industrial action in their dispute over pay

Passengers travelling with British Airways from the second week of August onwards should prepare for possible disruptions. On Monday this week, the majority of UK’s flag carrier pilots represented by the union voted in favour of industrial action. 

British Airways passengers should prepare for possible disruptions this August — DiegoMariottini / Shutterstock British Airways faces possible pilot strike
British Airways passengers should prepare for possible disruptions this August — DiegoMariottini / Shutterstock
 

85 per cent of BA’s captains, senior first officers and first officers are represented by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) which has held the vote. Overall, 93 per cent of BA pilots under Balpa were in favour of a strike on a turnout of 90 per cent. Their major demand is a salary increase. 

“This strong result demonstrates the resolve of BA pilots, and shows BA that it must table a sensible improved offer if a strike is to be averted,” said Brian Strutton, general secretary of Balpa. 

“Sadly three days of Acas talks have not moved the company’s position one iota. Settlement of this dispute is in BA’s hands.

As the union currently faces an immediate court challenge from the airline, they have not announced any industrial action yet. However, Balpa says it will issue an update on strike action. The earliest it could begin is reportedly 6 August.

“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”

Meanwhile, British Airways is preparing for a busy August with more than 3.75 million passengers estimated to fly with the airline.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “We are very disappointed that Balpa, the pilots’ union, has chosen to threaten the travel plans of thousands of our customers, over the summer holidays, with possible strike action. We remain open to working with Balpa to reach an agreement, which we have been doing since December.

“Our proposed pay offer of 11.5 per cent over three years is fair, and by contrast to Balpa, the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues, have already recommended the same pay offer to their members.

“We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers’ travel plans and avoid industrial action and we urge Balpa to return to talks as soon as possible.”