British Airways strikes begin – busy going nowhere

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Other than the flights from London City which are under a separate contract arrangement, and a couple of flights coming back from the US to Heathrow, the skies were empty of British Airways this morning. Over 1,500 flights have been cancelled.

And it’ll stay that way until resumption on Wednesday.

There’s been virtually 100% support from pilots for the action and the airline stands to loose upwards of £80m – despite the pay rise that could have only cost it around £10m. This is the first pilot strike in BA’s history.

Some 150,000 passengers have had their holidays and travels cancelled or delayed, and BA – not well known for paying the legally required compensation with any haste – has been told by the CAA they’re monitoring closely how the airline behaves.

Both sides said they were open to negotiations but neither has apparently contacted the other. The situation even roused comment from the Prime Minister asking them to “sort it out”. Perhaps he should look inside parliament before interfering at Heathrow.

The logistics of grounding so many aircraft are huge – there is not enough space at Heathrow or Gatwick for BA’s entire fleet, and there’s then the issue of getting aircraft where they need to be to resume operations on Wednesday. Disruption is likely to last all week.

Just to add to the mix, another one-day strike is due on September 27. And more are being planned.