Updated: September 9, 2019 7:21:05 pm
British Airways on Monday said the airline was ready to hold talks with British Airline Pilot Associations (BALPA) and resolve the pay dispute after the pilots called for a 48-hour strike and grounded nearly 1,700 flights to and from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
In a statement issued today, the airline said, “We understand the frustration and disruption BALPA’s strike action has caused our customers. After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.”
“We remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA,” it added.
Explaining the reason behind the cancellation of several flights, the airline said, “Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights.”
The British Airways pilots began a two-day strike on Monday, grounding nearly all of its flights and disrupting thousands of passengers in a pay dispute.
The airline, part of the International Airlines Group (IAG), cancelled 1,700 flights ahead of the action by BALPA members in the first-ever pilot strike.
“I am really sorry that the cynical actions of the pilots’ union have put us in his position,” BA Chief Executive Alex Cruz had earlier told BBC television.
IAG shares were down more than 2% in early trading.
(With agency inputs)
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