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British Airways and Unite to resume negotiations; more flights cancelled

28-May-2010 9:12 AM

British Airways' cabin crew union, Unite, confirmed plans to resume negotiations with the carrier on 28-May-2010, after failing to reach an agreement on 26-May-2010 (Bloomberg/Dow Jones, 27-May-2010).

  • Schedule: Unite stated (27-May-2010) BA continues to operate a "significantly reduced" schedule and within this reduced timetable, the carrier has already cancelled 123 of its 290 scheduled departures on 27-May-2010. So far, 21 long-haul flights have been cancelled, as well as 102 Eurofleet short-haul routes. Among those routes cancelled are flights to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Johannesburg and many of the domestic flights including those to Manchester and Glasgow, as well as flights to key business destinations such as Geneva and Charles de Gaulle. The union, stated BA is continuing to bolster its reduced schedule by paying chartered airlines and aircraft from partner airlines to operate 56 BA flights. 16 departures will be operated by charter airlines with 40 operated by codeshare (competitor airlines) including Aer Lingus, Qantas and Finnair. Striking crew also report that BA managers are calling them at home offering them trips to destinations such as Rio de Janeiro or Hong Kong in an effort to entice them back to work next week. BA denied the allegation. With the strike now in day 11, the dispute has cost BA at least GBP77 million, according to the union; [more]
  • Strike action: Unite announced (27-May-2010) plans for striking crew to gather at Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park on 28-May-2010 to protest BA's suspension of nearly 60 cabin crew and firing of eight cabin crew; [more]
  • Freight: British Airways World Cargo announced (27-May-2010) that despite the strike action, British Airways is flying more than 70% of its long-haul and more than 55% of its short-haul schedules at London Heathrow Airport. All New York JFK Airport services will operate from 29-May-2010 through to 04-Jun-2010. Additional belly-hold capacity is also available on positioning flights, which makes the capacity available for cargo much higher. The airline continues to serve 85% of its long-haul destinations. Long-haul and short-haul freighter programmes remain unaffected, as do all services in and out of London Gatwick; [more]
  • Other responses: IATA CEO, Giovanni Bisignani, criticised the strike action, stating “striking in this moment is simply irresponsible”.