British Airways Pilots Strike To Hit Indian Students Hard

by Ritu Versha 2 years ago Views 954

British Airways
British Airways (BA) has begun cancelling hundreds of flights ahead of another pilots’ strike on September 27. Travel services warn this could have a cascading impact on Indian students joining universities in the U.K. around this time. BA operates 51 weekly flights from five cities in India, with a double daily service from Mumbai and New Delhi and a daily service from Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad,

The airline has started sending cancellation emails to tens of thousands of passengers as pilots vow to begin another fresh from September 27 in a dispute over a pay-rise which pilots say is not high enough. Earlier this week, BA pilots staged a 48-hour walkout which grounded 1,700 flights and disrupted the plans of almost 200,000 travellers. The previous stoppage cost the airline £40 million a day.


A spokeswoman for BA said the decision to send out mails had been made "to give customers as much certainty as possible". Passengers were being offered a full refund or to rebook on an alternative date or airline. "We are very sorry that Balpa's ( British Airline Pilots' Association) actions will affect thousands more travel plans," she said. "We urge them to call off their strike and return to negotiations." 

Meanwhile, Balpa called the airline’s decision to cancel flights "irresponsible and inconsiderate to its customers". “It is a strategy designed to save the airline money. By giving passengers two weeks' notice, the airline avoids having to pay compensation.”

The cancellations were announced on the last possible day before British Airways would have to pay compensation under the European air passengers’ rights rules. BA would on a normal day carry an average of 145,000 passengers.

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