1,700 Lon­don Flights Af­fected As Pi­lots Strike Over Pay

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global -

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

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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

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