British Airways was forced to cancel nearly all of its 1,700 planned flights for today and tomorrow (Sept. 10), after the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) announced a planned strike for Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.
The strike, which is the first in the airline's history, resulted over a pay dispute.
"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," British Airways wrote in a statement.
1,700 flights cancelled
As a result of a pilot shortage, BALPA's actions have led to more than 1,700 flights being cancelled, directly affecting more than 195,000 customers.
According to British Airways, BALPA has another strike planned for Sept. 27.
"It is completely unacceptable that BALPA is destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action," BA said in a statement. "We will do everything we can to get as many people away on their journeys as possible. However, it is likely that many of our customers will not be able to travel and we will be offering refunds and re-bookings for passengers booked on cancelled flights."
The airline is currently exploring options to supplement its fleet by using aircraft and crew from other airlines (wet-leasing), and continues to work with its partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take the maximum number of customers.
British Airways is currently advising those with scheduled flights for today and tomorrow to avoid travel to the airport, and instead urges travellers to rebook their flights online, or by calling directly.
Those travelling on Sept. 27 can expect a follow up email from the airline in the next few weeks should any action be required.
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