What’s The Latest With The British Airways Pilot Strike?

On Friday the BALPA Union announced three days of strikes for British Airways Pilots. The strikes are set to cause widespread disruption. There have been a couple of strike-related hiccups such as passengers being sent false flight cancellation emails

BALPA, British Airways, Pilot Strike
The BALPA pilots union has announced three days of strikes in September. Photo: British Airways

It seems to have been a summer of strikes. That is to say, we’ve seen everybody from EVA Air Crew to Ryanair Pilots on strike. Additionally, essential Heathrow staff had threatened to go on strike, as had Stobart Air check-in staff at London Stansted. Now British Airways Pilots are set to grab a piece of the strike pie.

About the strike

BALPA announced strike action was on the cards last Friday. While the British Airways Pilots in BALPA had voted to strike some time ago, British Airways unsuccessfully tried to get an injunction against strike action from the high court. It looked as though things were going well after talk of a strike subsided recently. However, it seems as though things have now broken down.

In a row over pay, BA Pilots are set to mount three days of strike action. These dates include the 9th, 10th, and 27th of September.

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

Will the strike go ahead?

It is impossible to tell with 100% certainty whether the strikes will go ahead. However, it does seem as though there is a reasonable chance the first tranche of strike days at least will go ahead. 

Heathrow Airport was due to hold strikes on the 5th and 6th of August, potentially causing havoc. The strikes weren’t called off until the day before. However, British Airways held off from canceling flights, a move which paid off in this instance.

Things are different with the BALPA strike, however. Immediately after the dates of strike action were confirmed, British Airways began to cancel flights that could be affected. Canceling flights is a big move for the airline and not a decision that will have been taken lightly. As such, one could assume that British Airways expects there is a good chance the strikes will go ahead. Why would they have cancelled flights otherwise?

BALPA, British Airways, Pilot Strike
British Airways earlier lost an appeal against strike action. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Could the strike be called off?

While it may be unlikely, it is always possible that the strike could be called off. However, given the current narrative between the two sides, it could be a big ask at this point. In a press release, BALPA said that it had no talks planned with British Airways, and that “This dispute will only be settled, and these strikes will only be called off when BA improve their offer enough to satisfy their pilots.”

However, we also contacted British Airways who told us,

“We have continued to urge BALPA to return to talks since they issued strike dates, and this was reiterated again yesterday afternoon. Our negotiating team is standing by and open to discussion, with Alex Cruz’s full support.”

Do you think the strike will go ahead? Will you be affected by it? Let us know in the comments.