IAG Cargo warns of disruption as pilot strikes set to go-ahead next week

A proposed strike by British Airways pilots is set to go-ahead on Monday and Tuesday next week after the airline rejected the latest offer from union representatives to re-start talks.

The pilots are striking over a pay offer they claim is too low. Union Balpa said it would call off the industrial action if the airline was willing to discuss its latest proposal.

Another strike is planned for September 27.

The strike has clear implications for the airline’s bellyhold cargo operations.

In an operational update, IAG Cargo warned its customers to expect disruption.

“BALPA’s unjustifiable strike action does affect parts of our cargo operations. Our British Airways schedules have been updated and are now reflected on ba.com,” the statement said.

“We are working on limiting the operational impact this unacceptable action will have, and we will continue to keep customers updated with the latest information.

“On September 9, 10 and 27, we are not expecting to operate cargo services on British Airways passenger aircraft. We are also expecting some mild disruption on the days surrounding these strike dates.”

Other airlines in the IAG Group, Aer Lingus, Iberia, Level and Vueling, and its trucking network are not expected to be affected.

“If you have contracted block space agreements or regular flows of business on any of these dates please contact your local IAG Cargo sales teams to discuss alternative options,” IAG Cargo added.

“Our business continues to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ shipments.”

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “Avoiding strike action and agreeing a deal with their pilots surely must be the desired outcome for British Airways.

“We urge BA to join us to discuss the new proposal – which shows pilots are willing to be flexible but still stand united in getting a better deal.”

As well as the pilot strike, the airport could face further disruption as environmental campaign group Heathrow Pause has threatened to use drones to try and ground flights.

The group plan to fly the drones around the airport on September 13 to protest the expansion of the airport.

They plan to fly toy drones in the restricted area around the west London airport, giving authorities an hour notice before they start flights.

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