Cabin crew lose appeal against BA

BRITISH Airways won the latest round in its bruising battle with cabin crew union Unite yesterday, after the Court of Appeal ruled that reductions in crew numbers were legal.

The Court of Appeal upheld an earlier judgement from the High Court, which ruled that BA’s decision did not constitute a breach of contract.

In November 2009, BA boss Willie Walsh said he would trim the number of cabin crew on long haul flights flying out of London Heathrow from 15 to 14.

It decided to scrap the highly-paid “Purser” position – a senior attendant responsible for in-flight entertainment, paper work and the first

class cabin – helping to save £60m a year.

The moves sparked a bitter 20-month dispute with Unite, which has organised a series of strikes and industrial action that have cost the beleaguered national carrier some £150m so far.

The Court of Appeal’s ruling significantly weakens Unite’s negotiating position. The union is now likely to recommend an offer from BA, which will restore travel perks that were stripped from striking crew from 2013 onwards – much later than crew were hoping.