«Please do not go to the airport» British Airways urged passengers who booked their flights on Monday as the pilots ‘ strike leads to unrest at airports as «almost 100% «of the airline’s flights are cancelled, according to a company statement, in what the media called»the biggest stop in history.»
More than 200,000 passengers were affected as hundreds of flights were made during the first day of the strike planned by the British airline pilots Association (BALPA), which will last until Tuesday, September 10, and then resume on September 27.
Passengers hoping to make a rare flight to the almost deserted departure area at Heathrow airport in West London on September 9, 2019, when the first-ever airline pilots ‘ strike began, causing travel chaos for tens of thousands of passengers.
British Airways @ British_Airways operates more than 850 flights a day and pilots are on strike over pay and worker benefits-a first of its kind for the company.
Customers have been offered a refund or the option to rebook to another date or another airline.
The action affects flights around the world and is expected to cost British Airways around £ 100 million in lost revenue and additional costs.
The travel chaos came after pilots rejected an 11.5% pay increase offered by British Airways. «We understand that the frustration and disruption of the BALPA strike has caused our customers,» the company said in a statement. «After many months of trying to solve this problem, We are very sorry that we have come to this.»
The Union claims that «pilots are still very unhappy with BA» because the company has been increasing its profits — more than $ 3 billion a year, according to the International Airlines Group — at the expense of its pilots due to salary cuts and long hours.
«British Airways needs to Wake up and realize that their pilots are determined to be heard,» said Brian Strutton, General Secretary of BAPA, who expects the strike to cost the company £ 40 million a day but could be calculated to cost £ 5 million. «Pilots have previously made significant salary cuts to help the company through difficult times.»
«Shares of IAG, which owns the British airline, fell by about 3% on Monday morning, as BA carried out almost all 1,700 flights, covering 195,000 customers,» the Financial Times reported. «The fall has erased more than £ 200 million from its market capitalisation as investors are concerned about the impact of the stock’s exit, with one of the top 10 shareholders admitting that» you are really concerned about the situation.»
As with most acute labour disputes, the Union’s and British Airways ‘ reports are markedly different: the airline said it was «ready and willing to return to negotiations «with the Union, while BALPA representatives claim BA» completely ignored » its latest offer.