BA to fly 60 percent of long-haul Heathrow services during strike

13 May 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Customers can now view whether their long-haul flights from Heathrow will being operating during next week’s strike by BA cabin crew. Information on short-haul services from the airport will be available from tomorrow (Friday May 14).

The carrier says it plans to fly “more than 70 per cent of customers” during the strike period, with flights from London City and Gatwick unaffected. BA aims to operate more than 60 per cent of long-haul services from Heathrow, and more than 50 per cent of short-haul flights.

The airline says that it will “operate most of its revised shorthaul schedule at Heathrow using its own aircraft and cabin crew, but will supplement its schedule by leasing up to eight aircraft with pilots and cabin crews from five different airlines based in the UK and Europe”. 

BA adds that is has made arrangements with “more than 50 other carriers so that it can rebook customers during the actual strike period onto their flights, if they had been due to travel on a BA service which has been cancelled”.

Customers flying to/from Heathrow on a long-haul flight between May 18 and 23 can now check their booking online to see if it will be operating, and information on short-haul services will be made available from 1000 on Friday May 14.

CEO Willie Walsh called BA’s latest offer to cabin crew “very fair”, adding that it “addresses all the concerns Unite has raised during 15 months of negotiations”.  He also called the latest strike action “entirely disproportionate”.

No information has yet been given as to the number of flights that will be operated in the subsequent strike periods, currently due to take place from May 24-28, May 30-June 3, and June 5-9. Walsh said that he understood the “deep frustration” of customers booked to fly from May 24 onwards, and said that the airline would “do all we can to give customers more clarity about their specific flight once we start to understand how many cabin crew are willing to work as normal”.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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