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British Airways pilots end strike, 1,700 flights cancelled

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 11, 2019
A two-day strike by pilots from British Airways (BA) ended Tuesday night, but disruption is likely to continue through Wednesday.
British airline
Britain   British airline
The travel plans of almost 200,000 passengers were disrupted during the 48-hour walk-out by members of the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) in a dispute over pay.

Topics: British Airways pilots strike

It led to more than 1,700 flights being cancelled, but BA said it would take some time to get back to a completely normal flight schedule because of the nature of its complex global operation.

The stoppage has been described as the worst in the company's history, with BA saying it had no option but to cancel nearly 100 percent of its flights.

A BA spokesperson said: "We are very sorry for the disruption BALPA's industrial action has caused our customers. We are doing everything we can to get back to normal and to get our customers to their destinations."

BA said that due to the strike action, nearly half of its fleet of over 300 aircraft and more than 700 pilots will start the Wednesday in the wrong place.

BALPA on Tuesday called on Britain's flagship air carrier to return to negotiations "with something positive to resolve this dispute", warning that if the airline refused meaningful negotiations another planned 24-hour strike will go ahead on Sept. 27, with the prospect of further strikes later.

The union said the strike is costing BA 40 million pounds (49 million U.S. dollars) a day, with 75 percent of all British Airways pilots backing the industrial action.

In a statement Tuesday night, BALPA said the two-day strike action has been a powerful demonstration of the strength of feeling of BA pilots.

BALPA urged the airline back to the negotiating table with some meaningful proposals to try to avert the next scheduled strike on Sept. 27, saying BA pilots have been virtually 100 percent solid in supporting the strike.

The airline has offered a pay rise of 11.5 percent over three years, saying it would boost the salaries of some of its captains to 200,000 pounds a year.

BALPA has responded, saying its members want a bigger share of BA's profits.