British Airways strike: Hundreds more flights canceled | News | DW | 10.09.2019
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British Airways strike: Hundreds more flights canceled

BA pilots are on the second day of a 48-hour global strike over a nine-month pay dispute. The labor action has grounded most of the British carrier's 850 daily flights and is costing the airline €44.5 million per day.

British Airways (BA) pilots on Tuesday refused to end their unprecedented 48-hour walkout early. 

The strike over a long-standing pay dispute has grounded most of the 850 daily scheduled flights of the British carrier and disrupted the plans of about 195,000 travelers. A third day of industrial action is planned for September 27.

The airline on Tuesday said that without information about 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 percent our flights."

"After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this," BA said. 

The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) has said the airline should share its profits with pilots, who have had to accept significant pay cuts during difficult times. Now that the airline is profitable, it should raise the salaries of pilots accordingly, the union said.

Read more: Flight meltdown: British Airways boss defends cost-cutting

"This strike will have cost the company considerably more than the investment needed to settle this dispute," BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said in a statement on Sunday. "It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute."

British Airways (BA) holds that its pay offer was fair and that the industrial action is unjustifiable.

A spokesperson for British Airways said the airline remains "ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA."

Read more: British Airways receives record fine for passenger data breach

Thousands left stranded

British Airways dismissed a new BALPA offer last Thursday as an "11th-hour inflated proposal" that was not made in good faith. BALPA stated the union would have stopped this week's strikes if the airline had taken the offer seriously.

The walkout has forced thousands of customers to find alternative travel arrangements, and the airline has come under fire for its communication with passengers about the strikes.

The effects of the walkout will likely be felt for days. British newspaper The Guardian has estimated that some 145,000 passengers will be affected by the strike.

According to BALPA, the strike will cost the airline €44.5 million ($49 million) per day.

mmc,es/cmk (Reuters, dpa)

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