BA trains 1,000 staff to replace its cabin crew

BRITISH Airways (BA) will have up to 1,000 staff members fully trained and ready to serve as cabin crew by next week should talks with aircrew to avoid a strike collapse.

The commercial airline said up to 6,000 staff members, including pilots, had originally volunteered to work on flights but a smaller number had already started training several weeks ago.

BA said it would “continue to train crew through the rest of the month and beyond if necessary” and that the number of staff volunteering to work as cabin crew continues to increase.

BA began training staff as a way to provide a basic service to passengers should there be a mass walkout of its cabin staff.

The airline said talks with Unite the union which represents the crew members threatening to strike, are ongoing and so far the deadlock has not been broken.

Late last month cabin crew voted 81 per cent in favour of the proposed industrial action over pay and conditions after 9,000 staff went to the polls.

The news comes as BA hopes to sign a merger agreement with Spanish airline Iberia by the end of this month. The airlines entered into an initial agreement in November.