British Airways strike plans

British
Airways plans to run at least half its flights from Heathrow Airport during
next week’s cabin crew strike.

The
airline said it intends to operate at least 60 per cent of long-haul services
and 50 per cent of short-haul flights.

Members
of the Unite union are scheduled to walk out on Tuesday for five days in their
long-running dispute over jobs, pay and working conditions.

Unite
is planning a series of four five-day strikes, with just one day between each.

This
will disrupt BA’s services from Heathrow for more than 20 days in total.

The
airline says its flights from Gatwick and London City airports will be
unaffected by the industrial action.

In
total it hopes to fly more than 70 per cent of passengers during the strikes.

BA
has urged customers due to fly to or from Heathrow next week to check their
bookings on its website to see if their flight will still be operating.

Both
BA and Unite are calling for fresh talks, but as yet none have been arranged.

BA
chief executive Willie Walsh said the airline’s “door remains open to
Unite, day or night”.

He
added: “It is not too late for Unite to call off this action and protect
its members’ job security.”

Unite
joint general secretary Tony Woodley reiterated that BA needs to talk to the
union to settle the dispute.

“The
question BA’s board should be asking themselves is not how many planes will
operate, but what is the cost of this strike to the company?” he added.

The
three other five-day strikes are due to start on 24 May, 30 May and 5 June,
hitting the spring bank holiday weekend and school half-term holidays.

Football
fans planning to fly out to the World Cup in South Africa could also be
affected, with the last of the planned five-day stoppages due to begin on the
first weekend of the tournament.

BUZBAstrikeplanesST0RY

British Airways officials say next week’s cabin crew strike will not pre-vent flights from taking off.
Photo: File
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