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Almost all British Airways flights canceled as pilots strike

Almost all British Airways flights canceled as pilots strike”

The carrier, which is owned by London-listed International Airlines Group, said it has cancelled almost 100% of its 850 daily flights, affecting the travel plans of more than 100,000 passengers.

A landmark strike by British Airways pilots entered its second day on Tuesday with more travel chaos - and no end in sight to the long-running dispute over pay. In a statement on its website, the airline revealed that as a result of the strike action it "had no option but to cancel almost 100 per cent our flights" for Monday and Tuesday, at both London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

"We understand the frustration and disruption Balpa's strike action has caused our customers", it said.

In recent days rival airlines have raised their fares substantially for journeys on strike days as British Airways passengers scrambled to rebook their flights.

Following strikes on Monday and Tuesday, another day of industrial action is scheduled for September 27.

BA operates up to 850 flights a day.

British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz requested a new set of talks with the union in a Sky News interview.

"We continue to be available for constructive talks with Balpa, on the basis that there are no pre-conditions to those talks".

The union turned down a proposed 11.5 percent pay rise for the forthcoming three years with the reasoning being they feel their workers are being shortchanged when pilots took a pay and productivity cut 10 years ago during the airline's loss-making years.

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How does this strike affect BA?

The airline says more than a dozen flights between Canada and London are slated to be cancelled over the two days, affecting about 3,500 passengers based on the size of the scheduled aircraft.

Australians travelling on Qantas codeshare flights across Europe are likely to be impacted by industrial action by British Airways pilots, Qantas has warned.

The outages will extend to other locales such as Edinburgh, though London City, popular with business travellers, isn't affected as those flights are operated by the CityFlyer affiliate. British Airways' parent company, IAG, made a net profit of 2.9 billion euros ($4.98 billion) a year ago.

In total, 93 percent of pilots voted or industrial actions on a 90 percent turnout.

Balpa is also campaigning at Ryanair Holdings Plc, where United Kingdom pilots plan to walk out for an additional seven days.

Faced with the prospect of a widespread pilot strike, British Airways is giving its customers some simple advice: "please do not go to the airport".

"But the company's leaders, who themselves are paid huge salaries and have generous benefits packages, won't listen, are refusing to negotiate and are putting profits before the needs of passengers and staff", Strutton added. "Meanwhile one day of strike action costs around [40 million] pounds".



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