Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

British Airways pilots call off second strike amid ongoing pay dispute

The first series of strikes, held earlier this month, resulted in the airline cancelling nearly all its flights

A second strike at British Airways has been called off. Getty Images
A second strike at British Airways has been called off. Getty Images

It caused travel chaos earlier this month when pilots went on strike for 48 hours, but the second planned industrial action at British Airways has been called off.

Pilots have called off the next strike in their ongoing dispute over pay with the airline, which was due to be held on Friday, September 27.

The first strike, held between Monday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 10, forced BA to cancel almost all its flights.

The action, called by the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), was taken after pilots rejected another pay deal from the airline.

As part of the long-standing negotiations, BA had offered a salary increase of 11.5 per cent over three years.

The earlier strike "had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots", Balpa said in a statement, as it postponed the September 27 action.

"It was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand," the union added.

BA is now "considering the implications and we will give updates in due course", it told travellers on Twitter.

The airline had already begun cancelling flights for September 27 ahead of the planned strike, after being forced to cancel nearly 100 per cent of its flights during the earlier industrial action.

More than 1,600 departures and arrivals, including those to and from the UAE, were affected by the strike.

BA will try to reinstate as many of its cancelled September 27 flights as possible, according to the BBC, but it is not yet clear if usual service will be in operation.

Balpa's general secretary, Brian Strutton, said he hoped the airline would now "show as much responsibility as the pilots".

“Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course," he said. "In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike."

Pilots could still announce further strikes should "BA refuse meaningful new negotiations", Strutton added.

Passengers who were scheduled to fly on September 27 and want to check the status of their booking can call the customer contact centre on +44 203 250 0145, if outside the UK, or 0800 727 800, from within the UK.

If you booked your trip through a travel agent rather than directly with the airline, you should contact your third-party provider.

Updated: September 19, 2019 11:45 AM

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