BALPA Says It Could Call Off British Airways Strike

BALPA has suggested that it could call off a threatened strike of British Airways pilots. The strike is set to cause travel misery for passengers on Monday and Tuesday in London next week.

British Airways, Pilot Strike, BALPA
British Airways pilots could go on strike on Monday and Tuesday. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The strike action has been planned in relation to a row over proposed pay rises. While the pilots in the union voted for strike action back in July, the dates of the strike weren’t announced until two weeks ago. As a result of the impending strike, British Airways has had to cancel some flights rather than let customers down on the day.

Could the strikes be called off?

There is always the possibility that any strikes, regardless of the industry, will get called off. Even within the aviation industry, we’ve already seen this happen this summer. Heathrow Airport staff were due to go on strike at the start of August. However, these strikes were called off at the eleventh hour.

BALPA has today indicated that they could call off strikes, however, this would be on the provision that British Airways discusses a new deal brought to the table by the union. The details of this new deal have not been shared by the union. With that said, the General Secretary of BALPA, Brian Strutton, said,

“We urge BA to join us to discuss the new proposal – which shows pilots are willing to be flexible but still stand united in getting a better deal.”

British Airways, BALPA, Pilot Strike
British Airways has previously called the strikes completely unacceptable. Photo: British Airways

What does this mean for BA?

Unfortunately, some of the damage has already been done with regards to the strikes. Whether or not the strikes go ahead, British Airways has already cancelled a fair number of flights. It is unlikely that the airline would be able to reverse these cancellations.

However, there are also other flights which haven’t yet been cancelled. It is possible that the airline would need to cancel more flights nearer the strike date. These could be saved if a strike is avoided.

Simple Flying approached British Airways regarding the subject. Their spokesperson told us,

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

British Airways, Pilot Strike, BALPA
British Airways has already cancelled a number of flights. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Summer of strikes

British Airways isn’t the only airline to be affected by strikes in the UK this summer. Strikes by staff at Stobart Air threatened to cause havoc at Stansted airport. These members of staff are contracted to provide easyJet’s check-in facilities.

Meanwhile, British Ryanair pilots went on strike in late August, however, the airline said it was unaffected. On the other side of the channel, there was also talk of a Transavia strike, while back at home, a strike by Heathrow staff was narrowly averted.

Have you been affected by strike action this summer? Let us know in the comments.