British Airways pilots begin two-day strike over pay

British Airways pilots have begun a two-day strike in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. Tens of thousands of passengers have ...

British Airways pilots have begun a two-day strike in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.
Tens of thousands of passengers have been told not to go to airports, and BA says most have made alternative arrangements.
Both BA and the pilots' union Balpa have indicated that they are willing to start new talks.
Nonetheless, the vast majority of BA flights taking off from the UK on Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled.
There was also a knock-on effect to flights on Sunday, because planes and pilots needed to be in position for prior and subsequent journeys.
Dozens of flights were cancelled and further unforeseen cancellations could happen on Wednesday.
BA said "we remain ready and willing to return to talks with Balpa".
The airline added that it understood the "frustration and disruption" caused for customers, but added: "Unfortunately, with no detail from 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% of our flights."
Balpa's general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: "It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute."
It is the first time BA pilots have walked out and the action could cost the airline up to £40m a day.
Some 4,000 pilots will strike and almost all of the 1,600 flights that were due to fly will be grounded.
BA says its pilots already receive "world-class" salaries. The airline believes the pay offer is "fair and generous", and that if it is good enough for BA cabin crew, ground staff and engineers - whose unions, Unite and the GMB, have both accepted it - it should be good enough for pilots, too.
The airline says once the 11.5% pay deal has fully taken effect in three years' time, some BA captains could be taking home more than £200,000 a year, allowances included.
Two weeks ago, BA informed some customers they would have to re-book their flights next week due to the planned industrial action.
Unfortunately, due to "human error" the airline mistakenly sent emails to some customers whose flights were not actually affected, throwing BA's customer service operations into a tailspin over the bank holiday weekend.
On Friday, BA said the "vast majority" of affected customers had now either accepted a refund or rebooked, either on alternative dates or with other airlines.
Source:BBC NEWS
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