IAG Cargo operations hit as BA pilot strikes enter second day

By Damian Brett

The British Airways pilot strike has entered its second day, resulting in the cancellation of around 1,700 flights and severe disruption to cargo services over the two-day period. 

The industrial action over pay and conditions started at midnight on Sunday and is expected to end midnight on Tuesday. Further strikes are planned for September 27.

The IAG-owned airline said that it had been forced to cancel 100% of its flights, as it had not been given information on exactly which pilots would be taking part in the strike.

In an operational update issued last week, IAG Cargo told customers to check BA.com to see if their flights had been affected.

“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,” IAG Cargo said.

“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.

“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.”

It added that the flights of other members of the IAG Group – Vueling, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Level – as well as its trucking and freighter BSA agreements were unaffected.

As of yet there seems to be little hope that the pilot union, BALPA, and British Airways will be able to resolve their differences ahead of the planned strike action on September 27.

BALPA has said that no negotiations have been planned as of yet.

BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said: “Pilots are standing firm and have shown just how resolute they are today. British Airways needs to start listening to its pilots and actually come up with ways of resolving this dispute.”

In addition to the pilot strike, the airport could face further disruption this week, as environmental campaign group Heathrow Pause threatens to use drones to try and ground flights.

In protest against the expansion of the airport, the group plan to fly toy drones around the airport on September 13, giving authorities an hour notice before they start flights.

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