The united kingdom flag carrier and its 4,300 pilots are secured in a nine-month pay dispute that could disrupt or change the travel plans of almost 300,000 people. British Airways faced its first international strike by pilots on Monday along with also the possibility of nearly all of its flights being grounded for two days.
The united kingdom flag carrier and its 4,300 pilots are secured in a nine-month pay dispute that could disrupt or change the travel plans of almost 300,000 people.
However, BA only upped the stakes by allegedly threatening to strip pilots and their families of free travel perks if the strike action goes ahead.
“We make no apology for doing what we can to protect our clients from further disturbance,” a BA spokesperson told the Financial Times on Friday.
BA says the deal would see flight captains get”world-class” cover and benefits of about #200,000 ($246,000 or 220,000 euros) annually.
Additionally, it points out that two other unions representing 90 percent of the airlines’ employees have accepted the 11.5-percent increase.
BALPA counters that co-pilots’ salaries average around #70,000 — and that of junior ones drops down to only #26,000.
This leaves some in heavy debt because they must undergo training that the BBC quotes costs around #100,000.
BALPA also points to a nearly 10-percent leap in pre-tax earnings reported by BA’s parent company IAG this past year.
“One day of strike action will cost BA, in their own figures, #40 million,” BALPA tweeted Sunday.
“The difference between us now is 5 million.
The union said that BA never responded to a counteroffer it made to the airline on Wednesday.
Pilots are threatening to strike for an additional day on September 27 — and then again closer to the winter holidays — if the dispute anger on.
BA states a”vast majority” of its own passengers have made alternative arrangements or approved refunds because being informed of the potential walkout last month.
“We do not underestimate the inconvenience caused, for that we are deeply sorry,” BA said in a statement to clients on Sunday.
Nonetheless, it remains unclear how many individuals using BA for only 1 leg of an elongated travel will be affected worldwide.
The Financial Times said the airline normally operates 1,700 flights within a 48-hour span.
IAG has been attempting to rally from a loss of investor confidence that drove its stock price down by nearly 40 percent in the previous 12 months.
However, BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said the company had adopted a”cost-cutting culture (that) has in the opinion of pilots not only dumbed down a wonderful new but also made it harder for them to perform their jobs”.