Almost 100% of British Airways flights had to be cancelled after pilots began a 48 hour strike over pay today.
The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) are taking their first airline action grounding all flights. This action has caused Up to 145,000 passengers to be affected, 1,700 flights on Monday and Tuesday to and from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports have been cancelled.
Passengers whose flights were cancelled have been offered a refund or have to option to re-book their flight on an alternate airline. the airline is ready to talk with the union but there is little or no sign of the deadlock being broken.
The company has offered a pay rise of 11.5% for over 3 years and some of the captains have been offered £200,000
Balpa wants more of a share of the company's profits. Secretary Brian Strutton said "British Airways needs to wake up and realise its pilots are determined to be heard. They’ve previously taken big pay cuts to help the company through hard times."
British Airways is already making billions of pounds and their pilots have a fair and affordable claim for pay and benefits. Mr. Strutton said the company needs to agree on a way forward and understand that pilots will not be cheated. The company leaders are not listening and are refusing to agree and are putting money ahead of staff and passengers.
British airways are losing £40 million a day as Balpa state the dispute could be settled at £5 million. Alex Cruz has been asked how he justifies his pay rise from £830,000 to £1.36 million last year, which is significantly more than the 11.5% being offered to staff.
Mr. Cruz states that in previous years the company was in a better position which meant it could be offered and with pay the company has offered 90% of British Airways employees have accepted.
Mr. Cruz has said he's sorry for the actions that have taken place by the pilots union. their own goal has punished their customers and will punish their brand and this will punish the other colleagues. British Airways have sent out a tweet to let customers know what is going on:
A British Airways spokesman has said that they understand the anger and disruption that this situation has caused their customers. Since the aviation industry has become globally competitive they have had to make hard decisions which provide stability for our entire workforce this includes the pilots.
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