[Analysis] Pilots’ union BALPA has lost British Airways’ trust and agreement a long way off, says GlobalData

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Following the news that British Airways (BA) pilots are likely to strike on Monday and Tuesday next week after the company rejected the 11th-hour proposal from pilots’ union BALPA,

Nick Wyatt, Head of R&A and Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the situation:

The spectre of strikes at BA has loomed for a while and it would now be brave to back against a walkout. Balpa has tried to resurrect talks but a breakdown of trust between the union and BA is, for the time being at least, an insurmountable obstacle.

“BA has refused to engage as it believes Balpa is acting in bad faith. It’s clear that BA is irked by what it sees as strong-arm tactics and it is difficult to see a resolution without significant movement from both sides, of which there is little sign.

“As is always the case, it is passengers that will suffer from any disruption to flights. Service is the key to building loyalty for airlines such as BA, which don’t sell themselves on price alone, and strike action is clearly bad for business. Balpa has said the strike will cost BA £40m a day and disputes BA’s claim that its 11th-hour proposal will cost the airline £50m, instead proffering a figure of £5m. This difference in maths lies at the heart of the dispute.

“The airline is acutely aware of the ongoing saga’s negative impact and the deals it has struck with cabin crew and engineers show a willingness to resolve pay issues. For now, however, such an agreement with the airline’s pilots seems a long way off.”

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