Industrial action due to take place at London’s Heathrow Airport today (Monday) has been called off, with negotiations ongoing to prevent further disruption tomorrow.
About 88 percent of the 4,000 Unite union members voted to reject a pay offer and opted to strike on August 5-6, meaning that around 2,500 staff were set to go on strike.
There were 91 airlines affected as Heathrow announced the cancellation of 177 flights on Monday and Tuesday.
However, the action for Monday at least was called off at the eleventh hour following discussions, and many flights have been reinstated.
A statement from Etihad Airways, which operates 12 weekly flights from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow, said: "Industrial action planned for Tuesday 6 August is still in force but Etihad is committed to operating all services until a final decision is made by unions."
Emirates airline had implemented contingency plans in order to minimise disruption, which included rerouting one flight to nearby Birmingham Airport, but a spokesperson confirmed this has been shelved for today.
“Our operations are now running as per schedule,” the spokesperson said.
Prior to the cancellation of Monday’s strike action, Unite’s Wayne King said in a statement that the vote for a strike points to “growing anger” among the airport’s support staff.
Heathrow warned that security queues at the airport would be longer than normal, with passengers advised to arrive at least three hours before long-haul departures and two hours before short-haul.
Airlines also said they would impose restrictions on hand luggage to speed up boarding.
A spokesperson for Oman Air, which operates three flights daily to London Heathrow, said the airline should not be affected.
A statement said: “We advise guests travelling over this period to minimise carriage of hand luggage and to arrive at Heathrow Airport as early as practical.
“Guests are also advised to check in online. Please continue to monitor our website and official social media channels for the latest updates on our operations. We regret any inconvenience caused, and will do everything possible to minimise disruptions to your travel experience.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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