British Airways Begins Flight Cancellations Ahead of Second Pilots’ Strike

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With two weeks to go until British Airways pilots plan to strike for the second time this month, the airline has begun offering affected passengers refunds or rebookings.

The industrial action called by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) is scheduled for Friday September 27, and follows the unprecedented worldwide grounding of British Airways’ fleet due to its previous strike on September 9 and 10.

With BALPA representing the majority of BA’s pilots, it seems that almost all flights will be affected. The one-day action will also likely have a knock-on effect, as staff and aircraft start the following day in the wrong place.

BALPA took to Twitter last week to accuse BA of beginning flight cancellations in order to “avoid having to compensate affected passengers.”

However BA has countered this with the following statement: “We have put forward new ideas through ACAS this week and have called on BALPA to meet us face-to-face as soon as possible to return to negotiations.

“However, we need to give our customers certainty, so we have contacted all those affected by the union’s strike on September 27.”

Under EU261, the European Union’s flight compensation regulation, airlines that give two week’s notice of cancellations are not required to pay out additional cash compensation, though all passengers are entitled to a full refund or alternative flight arrangement.

JOY M. IMIE
THISDAY Newspaper