In a rather bizarre turn of events, Virgin Atlantic which has maintained a very high level of relationships with its pilots over the years, is facing a major pilot strike during Christmas and New Year.
Pilots of the PPU (Professional Pilots Union) that the company has so far refused to recognise – unlike the other pilot union, have decided to strike to get recognition.
The airline has approximately 1000 pilots and PPU represents about 30% of them. Only just over half of them voted to strike.
There are conflicting accounts over who said what and who is talking and how, but the strikes are set to start on December 22 through 25, and December 30 to January 2, with another on January 4 to 7. They will then continue for three to four-day periods until March 2019.
The PPU wants recognition but its looking t just 15% of its pilots actually striking, if that many actually do. Virgin Atlantic is preparing to have external contract aircraft available if needed and has requested a court injunction to stop the strike before it takes place.
Both sides seem somewhat intractable so quite where this goes, who knows? As an airline Virgin Atlantic can ill afford the costs, but its board must have decided to do this and they must be supported by Delta.