BRITISH Airways pilots are now threatening to strike this summer – which could see nearly all flights grounded.
Pilots are threatening to walk out over a disagreement over wages, after taking a salary cut of 20 per cent in 2020 to prevent pandemic-caused job losses.
The strike comes just days after check-in and baggage staff were given a wage increase after threatening strike action, which was called off at the last minute.
Pilots are now putting pressure on their union Balpa (The British Airline Pilots Association) for a ballot of their own.
The union say their members are angry because the airline refuses to reverse temporary pay cuts.
Instead, the pilots are seeking a pay increase, with travel returning to almost pre-pandemic levels this summer.
Martin Chalk, Balpa general secretary, told the Telegraph: “We are in talks with British Airways and wish to persuade them that continuing deductions from our members’ pay is unwarranted.
“We should actually be talking about pay increases given the inflationary scenario.
“Unless BA is prepared to walk with us down that road then we will have to consult with members to consider our next actions.”
A spokesperson for British Airways reportedly said that the airline remains committed to continuing talks with the union.
Industrial action from pilots could be catastrophic for British Airways, with similar strikes three years ago grinding their service to a halt.
Close to 100 per cent of the airline’s flights were grounded as a result of the strikes in September 2019, including 1,700 across just two days, affecting 280,000 people.
That walkout cost BA close to £100million before they increased their pay offer in the following weeks.
Further strikes could come as soon as this summer, as chaos continues to cause problems at airports throughout the country.
One of the worst-affected airports is BA’s base at London Heathrow, where the number of outgoing passengers has been capped at 100,000 this summer.
Ryanair pilots in Belgium forced cancellations with a strike last weekend, as the airline’s cabin crew in Spain currently striking.
And EasyJet staff in Spain are also set to go on strike later this week.
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