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1,700 flights canceled as British Airways pilots strike for the first time

british airways

Almost all flights of the British Airways were canceled amidst a strike of the BA pilots for the first time ever on Monday. This caused thousands of passengers to change their travel plans as the pilots denied flying due to a dispute over the compensation they receive.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) sat on a strike which caused cancellation of 1,700 flights of the British Airways flying from and to Gatwick and Heathrow airports of London. 

The airline is already facing strong competition from low-cost airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet besides issues with its operations in recent years. Alex Cruz, chief executive of British Airways, said in a statement that the strike will affect the company’s customers, brand and colleagues.

Shares in International Airlines Group, which BA is part of, fell 3 percent.

The company offered its pilots an 11.5 percent rise in their compensation over three years. However, BALPA said that the compensation of the pilots should include a share of profit.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said in a statement that the pilots experienced the hardship during the bad times of the company and therefore they should be compensated through a share in profits when the company is performing well.

The union of pilots explained that BA would be financially better off they accept the terms put up by them as compared to facing the impact of the strike. The strike, according to the union, could cost the airlines about 40 million pounds each day. Various analysts claimed to have similar figures but BA did not respond on questions regarding the costs associated with the strike.

BA had refused an offer put up by the union claiming that it was not in good faith. BALPA said that it would have stopped the strike if the offer was accepted.

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