Cabin crew union Unite has urged British Airways to “get around the negotiating table” in the long-running dispute.

This week the industrial dispute over pay and conditions is set to go past the 70-day mark for strike action by members of BA’s “mixed fleet” crew.

The current 14-day strike by Unite members is due to end on Tuesday (August 15) but that will be immediately followed by another 14-day stoppage from August 16 to 30.

British Airways has been “wet leasing” aircraft from Qatar Airways to help reduce the disruption caused by the continued strikes over the last few weeks.

But Unite said it should instead be using the money paid to Qatar Airways to “solve the dispute”.

Unite’s national officer Oliver Richardson said added: “It would cost British Airways mere pennies compared to its soaring profits to solve this dispute.

“Yet still the airline insists on spending millions on wet leasing aircraft and the prospect of mounting legal costs to defend low pay and punishing workers on poverty pay.

“Our members are clear in their determination. We would urge British Airways to get around the negotiating table and hammer out a resolution to this dispute to avoid the disruption and financial cost of continued strike action.”

BA is insisting that all customers will be “able to fly to their destinations” and that the “vast majority of our services will be unaffected” by the next Unite strike starting on August 16.

“We can already confirm that flights to and from Gatwick, London City and Stansted are planned to operate as normal, as are our weekend-only Mediterranean services to and from Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester,” the airline said in a statement.

“We are planning to operate virtually a full schedule of flights to and from Heathrow.”

 

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