BALPA said nearly 100 percent of pilots supported the strike action and the strength of feeling amongst pilots should be a wake-up call for British Airways. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) is behind the strikes which are scheduled for Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th and Friday 27th September, following a dispute with the airline over pay. BA has offered a pay rise of 11.5% over three years but the Balpa pilots' union says its members want a bigger share of the company's profits, adding that BA management's "dumbing down" of the brand had eroded confidence in the airline.
The airline said without information about which pilots would strike, "we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly".
Business travellers and those vacationing are being left stranded at airports as British Airways confirmed it has had to cancel "nearly 100 percent of flights" due to strike action being taken by pilots.
"It is by all accounts an own goal", the airline's chief executive, Alex Cruz, told the BBC.
The canceled flights could affect as many as 145,000 passengers Monday, and in a lawsuit filed earlier this year the airline told a court the disruptions could cost it almost $50 million a day.
An unprecedented walkout by British Airways pilots will push up the price of a Christmas getaway, passengers have been warned, as hundreds more flights are set to be cancelled.
BA says flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected.
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Pilots want better pay and have rejected a proposed increase worth 11.5% over three years - meaning the average captain would take home £200,000 ($245,744), including allowances, annually.
A fleet of British Airways planes at an airport. Passengers that are affected have been rebooked with other airlines or given alternate dates to fly, the BA spokeswoman said.
The airline has estimated that the two-day strike that started on Monday will affect 195,000 customers.
The union said pilots should be given a greater share of the "massive profits", in part for their sacrifices and efforts to help the airline recover from recent struggles.
Passengers should find out via email whether their flight is definitely cancelled.
"We codeshare on a small number of British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Europe and passengers are able to move their dates of travel, free of charge to avoid the strike action", a Qantas spokesperson said. Following the strikes on September 9 and 10, another day of industrial action is scheduled for September 27.
And it has been harder hit by industrial action than Ryanair, which reported no travel disruption after its British-based pilots went on strike this month.
Balpa said the first day of "strike action was supported virtually 100 per cent".