Tuesday 17 September 2019

Dublin-Heathrow flights grounded by BA pilot strike


Action: Pilots are taking part in a 48-hour strike over pay. Photo: PA Wire
Action: Pilots are taking part in a 48-hour strike over pay. Photo: PA Wire

Anne-Marie Walsh

Irish passengers of British Airways (BA) face further disruption today as pilots continue their 48-hour strike.

The airline said it grounded "nearly 100pc" of its flights yesterday during its first ever pilots' strike.

A spokesperson for the airline said it cancelled flights between Dublin and Heathrow.

However, its Cityflyer flights between Dublin and London City ran as normal.

A spokesperson for Dublin Airport Authority said eight BA return flights to Heathrow were cancelled.

This represented a small portion of the 770 flights in and out of Dublin Airport yesterday.

The airline also operates routes with Aer Lingus - as they are both IAG-owned - that were cancelled over two weeks ago, in what is known as a 'codeshare' arrangement.

However, the BA spokesperson was unable to say how many of these were cancelled or the routes affected.

The 48-hour strike over pilots' pay and benefits continues today and another stoppage is planned on September 27.

In total, the airline predicts that 195,000 passengers face disruption during the 48-hour strike.

BA said in a statement it had no way of predicting how many British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) members would come to work or the aircraft they'd be qualified to fly.

"So we had no option but to cancel nearly 100pc of our flights," it said, adding it was ready and willing to return to talks with Balpa.

However, Balpa said while BA had publicly stated it was open to talking, it had no word from it directly.

Irish Independent

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