A three day strike will begin at midnight on Saturday, with a four-day strike due to start on 27th March. The strike looked certain to go ahead after talks between BA and the Unite union broke down on Friday afternoon.
BA has promised to keep as many flights as possible in the air, and has drafted in staff from other parts of the company to replace the striking crew. But travellers flying between Stockholm and London will still face severe disruption, according to a provisional schedule published by the airline.
Three out of five scheduled flights between Stockholm Arlanda and London Heathrow have been cancelled in both directions on both Sunday and Monday, according to BA’s latest timetable. From Stockholm to London, only the 11:45 and 18:55 services will be operating normally. Tuesday will be slightly better, with the 15:05 flight also running.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the first day of the strike, will see only one cancellation from Arlanda to Heathrow, at 15:05. Two out of four flights from London to Stockholm have been cancelled, however.
The strike will have an even greater effect in Copenhagen, where only one flight will be operating on both Sunday and Monday. British Airways is advising those with tickets to keep checking their online timetable for up-to-date flight information. Passengers whose flights have been cancelled should not come to the airport, it advises on its website.
For those planning to connect with a BA flight in London the uncertainty is set to be even greater, although the company’s CEO Willie Walsh has said he expects more than 60 percent of long-haul flights to operate.
British Airways is offering refunds or alternative flight dates to passengers whose flights are cancelled.
Unite has called the strike in response to cost-cutting by BA. The airline has made cuts to the number of cabin crew on long-haul flights and imposed a two-year pay freeze from this year. BA also wants to pay new recruits significantly less than current staff members. The airline claims it must reduce costs after suffering a pre-tax loss of £342 million for the nine months to December 2009.
Are you planning to travel between Stockholm or Copenhagen and London with BA this weekend? How has the strike affected your plans? Let us know!