By Shane McGinley
British Airways has cancelled scheduled flights to Dubai and Bahrain in the wake of crew strike.
British Airways has been forced cancel flights on its London routes to Bahrain and Dubai, as it struggles with the aftermath of industrial action by its cabin crew, the airline confirmed on Monday.
“The daily flight on the London-Bahrain-Doha route has been cancelled on March 22, 23 and 24,” the airline said in a statement.
It also confirmed that it had cancelled one of the three daily flights between Dubai and London that were scheduled to operate on each of March 22, 23 and 24. There has been no impact on schedules to Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi or Muscat.
“We have proactively contacted customers whose flights have been affected, and they have either been rebooked for future dates, rerouted, booked on other airlines or refunded,” the statement added.
While phase one of the three day strike action ended on March 22, the Dubai and Bahrain cancellations are a result of the knock-on impact of the cancellations over the weekend.
However, the statement added that “the knock-on impact is far less than anticipated due to the numbers of cabin crew who came to work as normal. This has meant all our customers who wanted a flight managed to travel as planned.
“We have had a fantastic response from our cabin crew so far, with 97 percent of crew at Gatwick and more than 50 percent of crew at Heathrow reporting for work over the weekend.”
Phase two of the schedule industrial action is due to resume next weekend, from March 27 to 30. The cabin crew’s union has warned that further strike action may be called in April if the pay dispute is not resolved.
The industrial action is over proposed changes to pay and working conditions announced by BA management, which has said it needs to shave more than $90m off the airline’s annual expenditure.
BA made a pre-tax loss in the nine months to December 2009 of $511m, compared to a loss of $104m in the same period in 2008.
The changes include a pay freeze in 2010, reducing the number of cabin crew on long haul flights from 15 to 14 and switching around 3,000 staff to part-time work.