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Nearly all British Airways flights canceled amid pilot strike

Nearly all British Airways flights canceled amid pilot strike
British Airways (BA) said it was forced to cancel “nearly 100 percent” of flights for Monday and Tuesday after the UK pilots union went ahead with the biggest strike action in the airline’s 100 year history.

More than 1,500 flights have been canceled, with BA telling passengers not to turn up at airports. Customers who had flights booked for Monday and Tuesday will likely “not be able to travel as planned,” it said.

Some 280,000 people will be affected by the strike which is projected to cost BA £80 million (almost $100 million) in lost revenue.The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), which represents more than 10,000 pilots in the United Kingdom (more than 85 percent of all commercial pilots who fly there), is calling for higher wages for the pilots.

BA insists that its offer of an 11.5 percent increase over three years is “fair” and above the UK’s current rate of inflation.

BALPA said that BA “has resorted to breaking agreements and threatening pilots who will strike, which is bound to make matters worse” after the airline emailed their 4,300 pilots on Friday, warning that strike action would be a ‘serious breach’ of contract.

BA has also threatened to withdraw a travel perk, where staff can book tickets for ten percent of the full fare plus taxes, for three years if they chose to strike.The union said on Sunday that it put forward a proposal to the carrier’s management Wednesday, but had yet to receive a reply.

According to British Airways’ statement posted Monday, it remains “ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA.”

The pilot’s union also intends to strike on September 27. BA said on Monday that it will be in contact “in the next few weeks” to let customers who are traveling on or around that date know if they are affected.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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