Latest British Airways News, October.

Tag Archive: BA

  1. Latest British Airways News, October.

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    British Airways are more than just an airline, they’re a service that connects people from around the world. Flying British Airways is often a privilege, with class leading customer service and comfort, as well as award winning customer service.

    As a British Airways customer, you’ll enjoy an unparalleled experience, but it’s not always easy to keep up with the latest news coming out of the company. Throughout their over 40-year history, the company have been at the heart of some of the biggest stories of the day, so what’s going on with British Airways in October 2017? Here’s the latest news:

    Twin British Airways Pilots Retire with Landings 30 Seconds Apart

    They say twins share a remarkable bond, but two British Airways pilots have taken that to a new level. The twins, who have been with the company for a number of years, ended their final flights for the BA just 30 seconds apart, after clocking up more than 45,000 flying hours between them.

    Jeremy and Nick Hart celebrated their 60th birthdays by touching down at Heathrow and putting an end to their stories careers at almost the same time, despite the fact that the two brothers never flew in the same BA crew because they were both captains.

    British Airways Plans to Move all Employees to new Pension Scheme

    British Airways have opened talks with employees and trade bodies over a pension plan, just two weeks after its proposed plan to close its current pension scheme was attacked by unions.

    BA have suggested that the new scheme will be “more flexible” than the outgoing plan, giving staff pension choices such as whether to take the compulsory employer contribution as cash or for higher employer contributions.

    British Airways is proposing that all staff are shifted to the new scheme from next April and shutting the New Airways Pensions Scheme to future contribution from its existing 17,000 members. It said that the reasoning behind the shift was their £3.7bn pension deficit.

    Now, with full details in hand, the workers union Unite have said “Now that we have finally seen BA’s set of proposals, we will study them carefully and listen to your comments before putting forward our formal response.”

    British Airways Share Price Jumps Following Monarch Collapse

    Shares in UK listed airlines like British Airways have leapt up following news that Britain’s fifth largest airline, Monarch Airlines, has ceased operations.

    Monarch went into administration after failing to secure financial backing over the weekend and is the largest ever UK airline collapse, causing the biggest repatriation of British citizens in peacetime.

    All flights were immediately cancelled, affecting an estimated 300,000 bookings and causing customers to flock to alternative flight providers to get away and come back from their holidays and business trips. Indeed, BA have reported high numbers of customers seeking the British Airways contact details.

    That, alongside the reduced competition, has meant that the top four flight providers from the UK have seen shares climb dramatically. British Airways parent company, AIG, saw shares climb 2% on the news, whilst shares in Ryanair and easyJet both rose 3%.

  2. Talks Likely in Ongoing BA Strikes

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    It appears that the final casualty from the current round of strikes being undertaken by BA’s cabin crew will be BA122. The Boeing 777 from Doha to London was due to take off at 7am on the 31st of August, but the strike by members of BA’s mixed fleet crew at Heathrow continued their strike, ensuring that not only was the outbound flight cancelled, but the return leg was too.

    An estimated 1,400 Unite members have been on strike almost constantly for July and August in dispute over “poverty pay” and an issue wherein previous strikers have been refused bonuses. Those numbers represent around one in 12 of BA’s cabin crew, but it’s been enough to cause disruption to a number of flights.

    The ‘mixed fleet’ was set up in 2010 as part of the settlement of the last big cabin crew dispute at British Airways, but staff have inferior employment terms to longer serving members of the crew. Unite estimate that the mixed fleet cabin crew earn just £16k annually, including allowances. However, BA say they don’t recognise that sum, with the lowest a mixed fleet member earned last year was £21k, by their reckoning.

    Now, after 60 days of strikes and customers seeking the British Airways contact details, Unite are calling for a “pause for peace” and further negotiations with the airline.

    The union’s national officer, Oliver Richardson, spoke to The Independent, commenting: “Our members have shown great determination to highlight poverty pay, corporate greed and the bullying behaviour of British Airways.

    “The action led to flights being cancelled and British Airways being forced to spend millions on wet leasing aircraft to cover the operational disruption.

    “British Airways should use this ‘pause for peace’ in industrial action to reach a settlement to this long running dispute so it can rebuild its tarnished brand.”

    However, British Airways have enjoyed less flight disruption than previously imagined, thanks partly to the geo-political rift in the gulf, which has suspended many flights from Qatar and meant that their jets and crew have been available to help British Airways plug their gaps. It also helps that Qatar Airways are one-fifth owned by BA’s parent company, IAG.

    A pattern has begun to emerge with Qatar airways being utilised to replace cancelled flights, with the Heathrow-Doha round-trip cancelled every day, and passengers re-booked on the frequent Qatar Airways flights. It’s been a comfortable relationship for the pair, but it’s no substitute for happy staff.

    The longer the strike saga drags on, the more it begins to affect employee morale and the more negative press it attracts. As a premium brand, BA simply can’t afford to let this drag out forever – especially if the situation on the Gulf resolves itself.

    BA have said that they will wait to discuss arrangement to meet when the strike is over, so we may well have some news regarding the strikes soon.

  3. Talks Likely in Ongoing BA Strikes

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    It appears that the final casualty from the current round of strikes being undertaken by BA’s cabin crew will be BA122. The Boeing 777 from Doha to London was due to take off at 7am on the 31st of August, but the strike by members of BA’s mixed fleet crew at Heathrow continued their strike, ensuring that not only was the outbound flight cancelled, but the return leg was too.

    An estimated 1,400 Unite members have been on strike almost constantly for July and August in dispute over “poverty pay” and an issue wherein previous strikers have been refused bonuses. Those numbers represent around one in 12 of BA’s cabin crew, but it’s been enough to cause disruption to a number of flights.

    The ‘mixed fleet’ was set up in 2010 as part of the settlement of the last big cabin crew dispute at British Airways, but staff have inferior employment terms to longer serving members of the crew. Unite estimate that the mixed fleet cabin crew earn just £16k annually, including allowances. However, BA say they don’t recognise that sum, with the lowest a mixed fleet member earned last year was £21k, by their reckoning.

    Now, after 60 days of strikes and customers seeking the British Airways contact details, Unite are calling for a “pause for peace” and further negotiations with the airline.

    The union’s national officer, Oliver Richardson, spoke to The Independent, commenting: “Our members have shown great determination to highlight poverty pay, corporate greed and the bullying behaviour of British Airways.

    “The action led to flights being cancelled and British Airways being forced to spend millions on wet leasing aircraft to cover the operational disruption.

    “British Airways should use this ‘pause for peace’ in industrial action to reach a settlement to this long running dispute so it can rebuild its tarnished brand.”

    However, British Airways have enjoyed less flight disruption than previously imagined, thanks partly to the geo-political rift in the gulf, which has suspended many flights from Qatar and meant that their jets and crew have been available to help British Airways plug their gaps. It also helps that Qatar Airways are one-fifth owned by BA’s parent company, IAG.

    A pattern has begun to emerge with Qatar airways being utilised to replace cancelled flights, with the Heathrow-Doha round-trip cancelled every day, and passengers re-booked on the frequent Qatar Airways flights. It’s been a comfortable relationship for the pair, but it’s no substitute for happy staff.

    The longer the strike saga drags on, the more it begins to affect employee morale and the more negative press it attracts. As a premium brand, BA simply can’t afford to let this drag out forever – especially if the situation on the Gulf resolves itself.

    BA have said that they will wait to discuss arrangement to meet when the strike is over, so we may well have some news regarding the strikes soon.

  4. British Airways Staff Announce Further Strike Action

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    Three months ago, we brought you news that British Airways cabin crew had voted in favour of strike action in their dispute over pay and benefits with the company. That strike was due to take place on the 16th of June, running through the 20th, and did indeed take place.

    Those strikes were in relation to benefits not being reinstated for staff who took place in industrial action, and it not appears that British Airways staff are ready to strike once again.

    Today, British Airways cabin crew have announced that a fresh round of strikes will take place, to coincide with the busy summer holiday period, when many families are heading away on their holidays.

    It’s estimated that 10,000 passengers are expected to be affected by the new two-week industrial action by mixed fleet cabin crew, in what will be a significant escalation in the long-running pay dispute.

    The action is scheduled to begin on July 19th and run for 14 days. That’s just three days after they complete a 16-day stoppage, and is intended to force BA back to the negotiating table. However, BA have said that they expect that only one in two hundred flights will be affected by the new strike action, and that 99.5% of their fleet will still be running. That’ll be a reassurance for customers who contact British Airways, looking for confirmation about their summer flights.

    Unite, the union who represent British Airways crew, said that this latest action underlines the determination of its members to continue campaigning for a better deal. National officer Oliver Richardson said: “Today’s announcement of a further escalation, underlines the determination of our members in their fight for better pay and against British Airways’ bullying behaviour.

    “We are seeing strong support for the ongoing strike action.

    “The time and money British Airways is spending on wet leasing aircraft and bullying striking cabin crew are resources which could easily settle this dispute.

    “It’s high time British Airways stopped spending millions defending low pay and its bullying approach by negotiating a settlement to this long running dispute.”

    In regards to easing aircraft, Unite have launched legal action. It’s a challenge to the Government’s go-ahead for the least of nine aircraft from Qatar Airways during current stoppage, which started last weekend. The union have already staged a protest outside the London head office of Qatar Airways, and Mr Richardson said: “The wet leasing of Qatar Airways’ aircraft should not have been approved by the Government or been sought by British Airways.

    “We believe it is not only in breach of European regulations and non-compliant with civil aviation safety, but has also driven a coach and horses through British Airways’ own corporate social responsibility policy, which is not worth the paper it’s written on.

    “British Airways customers will be alarmed at Qatar Airways’ record on sex discrimination and the lengths British Airways is going to try an undermine lawful strike action.”

    For their part, BA are saying that strikes are unnecessary, and that Unite should allow their members to vote on the deal put to staff by BA two months ago.

  5. British Airways Cabin Crew Vote for Further Strikes

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    British Airways cabin crew have voted in favour of four more days of strike action in what is the latest in a long-running pay and benefits row.

    The strike will start from the 16th of June and will run for 4 days, even though BA say that the crew’s pay and rewards are in line with competitors. Unite, the union which manage BA’s cabin crew said that the action is about benefits not being reinstated for crew which took part in earlier industrial action.

    The airline has called the new strike “completely unnecessary”, and has promised customers that there will be no flight cancellations during the strike period, and that they’ll do their best to ensure that there’s minimal disruption for customers.

    The news comes at a potentially awkward time for British Airways, during a week when they’re still recovering from an IT failure which caused 75,000 customers to be stranded at airports for days.

    Having initially refused to comment about the nature of the IT failure, British Airways recently moved to suggest that the IT failure was down to a “power surge”, which was promptly shot down by IT experts, who suggested that a power surge couldn’t do that kind of damage. Those statements were affirmed by local power companies, who confirmed that no surge had been detected at the time BA said it happened.

    Now, The Times have learned that the power supply unit at the centre of the BA fiasco was in perfect working order, but was deliberately shut down by a contractor who made a catastrophic blunder, which wiped over £100m off the value of their parent company and will cost BA another £100m in compensation.

    Evidently then, British Airways see this as an inopportune moment for their cabin crew to strike, with a British Airways spokeswoman saying: “We had reached a deal on pay, which Unite’s national officers agreed was acceptable. We urge Unite to put the pay proposals to a vote of their members.”

    Howard Beckett, Unite’s assistant general secretary for legal services, stressed the lack of respect BA has shown its staff by not reinstating the benefits of those who chose to strike. He said: “In an airline of the size and status of BA, passengers want to know staff are treated with respect.

    “Punishing staff for using legitimate industrial means to reach a wage deal is a culture that Unite cannot accept and a culture that will ultimately damage the BA brand.”

    Thus far, members who are on the airline’s mixed-fleet agreement have staged 26 days of strikes during the disagreement. Unite claim there are around 2,900 cabin crew members on mixed-fleet agreements, which operate on both short and long-haul agreements.

    Where the disagreement will go next is anyone’s guess, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see BA move to neutralise this latest scandal in a bid to stem the continued damage to their reputation with British and overseas customers.