British Airways (BA) has canceled almost 100% of its flights beginning from Monday as nearly 4000 of its pilots have begun a two-day strike. The British Airlines Pilot Association (Balpa) have been engaged with the airline’s management to negotiate better pay and conditions. This is the first time that the pilots of BA have gone on a strike since the 1970s. The pilots are scheduled to stage another such strike on September 27. While thousands of passengers have been affected, many of them have been re-booked on other flights, granted an option of alternate days to fly or been given a refund. The strike is set to cost BA about 40 million pounds per day.
There is Industrial Action planned by the pilots’ union, BALPA on 9 and 10 September 2019. We apologise for the significant impact this will have on our flights. If your flight is cancelled, please don’t go to the airport. For the latest info, visit https://t.co/rPEgyOeVyh.— British Airways (@British_Airways) September 7, 2019
The Balpa has raised the contention that BA had lost the confidence of the pilots due to its excessive cost-cutting measures. It has also questioned the unwillingness of BA to share a portion of the record profit that it has been garnering over the last few years. Last year, its parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a 9% rise in profits. Balpa General Secretary Brian Strutton, talking to an American media outlet, said that he didn’t recognize the figures and that most of the union’s members at BA will earn a lot less.
Many industry insiders reckon that airlines are naturally expensive to operate due to the fluctuating fuel prices and the profits earned by the BA are primarily due to the cost-cutting exercise. On its part, the BA management has accused Balpa of sabotaging the resolution by the latter floating an inflated proposal that would cost the airline at least 50 million pounds more. The management previously offered the pilots an 11.5% pay rise over a period of three years, potentially making them one of the best-paid aircrews in the world. However, Balpa rejected the proposal.
Today's action should be a wake up call for British Airways https://t.co/FO2Ft0KmqB— BALPA (@BALPApilots) September 9, 2019