On the eve of the first pilots’ strike in the history of British Airways, the British Airline Pilots’ Association threatened a wave of further strikes later in the year in pursuit of better pay.
The 48-hour strike on Monday and Tuesday, September 9 and 10, has resulted in 1,600 flight cancellations, lost revenue for the carrier of about £100 million, and disruption for 290,000 passengers. BA said that most travellers have already been booked on alternative flights or been offered refunds on their tickets.
There has been criticism of the pilots – 90 percent of the 4,300 pilots at BA support the strike – since they already earn an average of £90,000, while captains earn more than £175,000 after allowances are added. In turn, the pilots have slammed the “fat cats” at the top of BA for their excessive earnings. BA’s chief executive, Alex Cruz, was paid £1.36 million in 2017.
Disruption started on Sunday, with 50 flights into London cancelled because there is not enough space to park the aircraft. There have been reports of rival airlines inflating ticket prices in order to benefit from the stoppage, which is due to be repeated on September 27.
easyJet flights from Nice to London are mostly full on Monday and Tuesday, although travellers desperate to go to Luton leaving at 22:10 on Tuesday can still buy a ticket, for £871.17. One flight to Gatwick on Monday has tickets available at £702. (Correct at 19:41 on Sunday, September 8)
PHOTO: Alex Cruz