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Thu 25 Mar 2010 12:08 AM

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British Airways aims to operate 70% of strike flights

Airline said that increasing numbers of cabin crew are planning to come to work.

British Airways aims to operate 70% of strike flights
FLIGHT OPERATION: British Airways plans to operate 70% of its long haul scheduled flights during the second phase of cabin crew industrial action. (Getty Images)

British Airways is planning to operate 70 percent of its long haul scheduled flights from Heathrow during the second phase of cabin crew industrial action due to start on Saturday March 27, the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.

Unite, the union representing British Airways (BA) cabin crew, is due to start the second phase of industrial action on Saturday March 27 and it is planned to continue until Tuesday March 30.

BA said in a statement that an increasing number of cabin crew said they were planning to show up for work and therefore it estimates that it will be able to operate 70 percent of its long haul scheduled flights from Heathrow.

As of 6pm on Wednesday, the BA.com reports that of the three of the nine flights scheduled to operate between Dubai and Heathrow between March 27 and 30 have been cancelled, while two of the ten due to fly on the Heathrow and Dubai leg will not go ahead.

On the Doha-Bahrain-Heathrow route, all flights are expected to operate on March 27, while all route’s scheduled flights on March 28 and 29 have been cancelled.

On March 30 all BA flights between Doha and Bahrain have been cancelled, while all the flights between Bahrain and Heathrow are due to go ahead as scheduled, according to BA.com at 6pm on Wednesday.

A spokesperson from BA said that full details of how Gulf flights from Heathrow would be affected during the second strike period would be released on Thursday morning March 25, London time.

He said: “Customers who are booked on flights that have now been cancelled will be offered seats on alternative British Airways flights or on services operated by other airlines or offered a full refund."

He added: “British Airways has again made arrangements with more than 60 other carriers, so that customers can be rebooked free of charge on to their flights if they had been due to travel on a BA flight that has been cancelled,."

On Monday, BA said that the daily flight on the London-Bahrain-Doha route had been cancelled on March 22, 23 and 24 and 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.

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.

Customers have been advised to check their bookings on www.ba.com to see if their flight is still operating.

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