TORONTO — The news reports coming in from Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands are heartbreaking, and the images even more so.
LONDON — British Airways has been forced to ground just about all of its flights both today and tomorrow due to a pilots’ strike, and there’s another strike date less than three weeks away. “After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this,” said the airline.
In a statement on its website this morning, BA says: “We understand the frustration and disruption BALPA’s strike action has caused you.
“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% of our flights.
“We remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA.”
BA says its customer teams are working to help provide options, including a full refund or re-booking to a different date of travel or alternative airline. All affected passengers can get full refunds or the option to re-book to another date of travel or alternative airline.
BA says flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected.
The airline also says it’s working with its partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take the maximum number of customers.
More information is at https://www.britishairways.com/en-ca/information/incident/strike/latest-information.
The cancelled flights have impacted close to 200,000 passengers. In a typical day British Airways operates up to 850 flights.
British Airways says it has offered pilots an 11.5% pay raise over three years. The union is arguing that its members want a bigger share of the company’s profits, and accuses British Airways of making big profits at the expense of workers who made sacrifices during hard times. IAG, British Airways’ parent company, made a net profit of US$3.2 billion last year.
With file from The Associated Press