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British Airways pilots want pay hike, threaten strike

If they go ahead, it will add to travel chaos in Europe which is grappling with flight delays and fewer planes in the sky due to staff shortages

July 26, 2022 / 06:54 PM IST
British Airways pilots are poised to take industrial action (Image: Getty)

British Airways pilots are poised to take industrial action (Image: Getty)

British Airways pilots are preparing to go on strike over their demand for a pay hike, a report in the Express UK has said, adding to holidaymakers' misery already grappling with curtailed flight schedules due to a shortage of cabin and ground staff.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has threatened that pilots, who took a salary cut to save jobs as Covid mauled the aviation sector, will walk out after airline chiefs rejected calls for a new pay deal. They haven’t specified the dates when plan to strike work.

According to a report in The Telegraph, British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle was warned during a meeting with representatives of the pilots last week that “only quantifiable actions would be acceptable”. However, the email said "this did not happen".

Express report also said the pilots had taken a pay cut in July 2020 to mitigate job losses, reducing the cut in jobs from 1,255 to 270.

According to a National World report, around 700 BA workers at Heathrow airport were expected to stage a strike amid a pay dispute with BA bosses but the strike was called off on July 7.

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After ground handling crews stopped their planned strike action earlier this month after accepting an eight percent pay rise, pilots, too, are hopeful to get an increase in their salaries.

BALPA general secretary Martin Chalk told the Express that they were in talks with British Airways. “We are in talks with British Airways and wish to persuade them that continuing deductions from our members’ pay is unwarranted".

Cancelled flights, lengthy airport queues and long delays at Dover have added to the woes of holidaymakers.

UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries had earlier predicted that “2022 is set to be a blockbuster year”. “There is huge pent-up demand from international tourists to visit the UK and my message is clear:our brilliant tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses are ready and waiting to welcome people back,” she then said in her interview to the Independent.

The Airports Council International says aviation to and from the UK was just 22 percent of 2019 levels, by far the worst of any major European country.

Across the Channel, Lufthansa said it would have to cancel almost all flights at its main Frankfurt and Munich hubs on July 26 because of a strike by its German ground staff, affecting tens of thousands of passengers in the latest travel turmoil to hit Europe.

The airline said that the strike would force the cancellation of 678 flights at Frankfurt, 32 of them on July 25 and the rest the next day.
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first published: Jul 26, 2022 06:48 pm
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