Willie Walsh: I’m determined to solve this strike

WILLIE WALSH yesterday insisted that he remains “determined” to discuss the strike launched by British Airways (BA) cabin crew as he faced criticism by Unite for leaving the country.

The BA chief executive, who was yesterday at a conference in Berlin, dismissed claims by Unite that he was neglecting negotiations by leaving London at a crucial point.

Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson said on Twitter that negotiations could not take place because Walsh was out of country.

“I am here on business... We have people available to meet and are ready to talk,” said Walsh.

The strike, which is already understood to have cost the airline up to £150m, enters its 21st day this morning.

Walsh yesterday refused to admit defeat and called the cabin crew strike a “failure”. He said the airline managed to fly 72,000 people on Sunday as BA is currently flying 80 per cent of its scheduled long haul and 60 per cent of short haul flights.

Talks are expected to resume this week at Acas, the conciliation service hosting the talks, and the Trade Unions Council has kept in contact with BA and Unite.