Friday 6 September 2019 1:32 pm

British Airways strikes: No 10 tells BA and pilots to ‘sort out’ dispute

Downing Street has urged British Airways and its pilots to “sort out” the pay dispute behind a planned series of strikes starting next week.

“The unions and BA need to get round the table and sort this out. The public would expect nothing less,” said Number 10.

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BA pilots are due to walk out on Monday and Tuesday offer a pay offer that the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) says is too low.

Although BA has not confirmed how many flights would be affected by the industrial action, is it expected that most flights on the strike days would be cancelled.

“Nobody should have their travel plans disrupted or their holidays ruined,” Number 10 said.

The union and airline have been locked in a bitter dispute over pay and working conditions. BA says it has offered pilots an 11.5 per cent pay increase over three years, which the Unite and GMB unions have accepted.

“We have offered to get back round the table and have been refused,” said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton.

“The gap between what we’re asking for and BA is just £5m – much less than the £40m it will cost per day of strike action.”

Read more: British Airways strikes: Pilots could call off action if BA considers pay offer

“Since they’ve offered, perhaps Downing Street or the Secretary of State of Transport could assist in calling both sides for talks – BALPA would be there,” Strutton added.

BA Cityflyer, which flies out of London City Airport, is not affected by the strike action.

City A.M. has contacted BA for comment.