1,700 London Flights Affected As Pilots Strike Over Pay
London: Nearly all British Airways (BA) flights were grounded by its first ever pilots strike on Monday, disrupting the travel plans of about 1,95,000 passengers in adispute over pay. The action by British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) members forced BA, part of International Airlines Group (IAG) , to cancel 1,700 flights to and from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports during two days of action in its latest high-profile setback.
Terminal 5 at Heathrow in London, a British Airways hub, was deserted on Monday, according to British media reports, a sign that the airline had prepared for the possibility of a walkout. British Airlines said it had contacted customers two weeks ago to offer a choice of alternative flights on British Airways planes or with different airlines, or full refunds.
BA faces intense competition on short-haul routes from easyJet, Ryanair and other low-cost airlines and has faced a number of operational hiccups in the last few years. “It’s going to punish customers, it’s going to punish our brand, it’s going to
punish the rest of the colleagues,” BA chief executive Alex Cruz told BBC TV as IAG shares dropped by as much as 3% in early trading.
British Airways says it has offered pilots an 11.5% pay raise over three years but the union says its members want a bigger share of the compa
The sprawling departure area at Heathrow Terminal 5 was almost empty, with only a handful of BA flights operational on Monday