Strike forces BA to cancel nearly all flights

A 48-hour strike by thousands of British Airways pilots on Monday and Tuesday caused nearly 100% cancellations of its flights. The action marks first-ever strike by pilots, who want a bigger share of airline's earnings.

"Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights," the airline said Monday.

This caused a huge knock-on effect on flights before and after the strike, as planes and pilots are part of a network that must be in place to function. This will result in approximately 200,000 passengers facing disruption as almost 1,700 flights have been grounded. BA normally operates up to 850 flights a day.

BALPA has said that BA should share more of its profits with its pilots. BA has said the strike action is unjustifiable as its pay offer was fair.

"This strike will have cost the company considerably more than the investment needed to settle this dispute," BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said in a statement on the eve of the strike.

"It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute."

Flights are set to resume today (September 11) after the strike ends at 23.59 on Tuesday, although there may continue to be some disruption to BA’s services after the end of the stoppage.

In cost and cancellations, the strike will likely cost more than the acrimonious BA cabin crew dispute of 2010-11.

Another walkout planned by pilots on 27th September and BA said it will be in touch with affected passengers “in the next few weeks”, urging passengers to check the contact details the airline has for them are accurate.

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