British Airways today began talks with pilots in an attempt to stop them striking over the summer.
Pilots met company representatives at the conciliation service Acas after rejecting a pay increase of 11.5 per cent over three years. The airline has said the pay rise is “fair and generous”.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has said BA’s recent profits mean its members deserve a better offer.
A ballot gives pilots until 22 July to vote on whether to strike or not. If Balpa calls a strike, it could begin industrial action as soon as 5 August.
Around 90 per cent of the airline’s pilots are Balpa members, meaning a strike could cause severe disruption during the busy summer month.
BA said: “We urge Balpa to come to an agreement to protect hard-working families planning their summer breaks.”
The company is part of International Airlines Group (IAG)), which last year reported pre-tax profits of €3bn, a 9.8 per cent annual rise. British Airways contributed £1.97bn of the figure, representing an 8.7 per cent annual rise.
Separately, BA is gearing up to face a record £183m fine by authorities after a data breach caused it to lose more than 400,000 customers’ information.
IAG announced this morning it would make “any necessary appeals” in response to the penalty.
The figure is equivalent to 1.5 per cent of the firm’s turnover in 2017. It dwarfs the previous highest fine of £500,000 handed to Facebook for breaches of data protection law last year.
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