British Airways cabin crew will strike for another two weeks at the end of the month, Unite the union announced today.
The strike will run from 19 July until midnight on 1 August, Unite said, but the airline insisted the strike will not result in any passengers being unable to fly.
As part of the action Unite has also launched legal action against a government decision to allow the "wet lease" of nine Airbus aircraft (including crew) by the airline from Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways owns 20.4 per cent of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways.
The union will argue British Airways is trying to break the strike by circumventing European regulations which prevent wet lease arrangements with non-EU carriers in all but exceptional circumstances.
Unite cabin crew are in the middle of a 16-day strike, which is due to end on 16 July. British Airways has been forced to cancel some flights and move passengers to different times during the current action, but the airline insists it has still been able to run 99.5 per cent of its normal schedule.
In a statement on the later strike action, the airline said: "We will ensure all our customers reach their destinations."
The strikes by staff in the so-called mixed fleet, who work on both long-haul and short-haul services, part of a long-running dispute over pay. Unite also said British Airways had unlawfully sanctioned striking staff.
The fresh strike is the latest in a long line of issues for the UK's flag-carrier, after an IT glitch caused its customer service systems around the world to crash, leaving thousands of passengers grounded.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “We are seeing strong support for the ongoing strike action. The time and money British Airways is spending on wet leasing aircraft and bullying striking cabin crew are resources which could easily settle this dispute."
He added: “It’s high time British Airways stopped spending millions defending low pay and its bullying approach by negotiating a settlement to this long running dispute.”
British Airways said: "Instead of calling further completely unnecessary strikes, Unite should allow its members a vote on the pay deal we reached two months ago.
"It seems extraordinary that a trade union should ask its members to give up their pay and benefits for virtually the whole of July, trying to target the holidays of hard-working families, rather than give those members a chance to settle the central issue of the dispute."
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