British Airways pilots strike enters its second day on Tuesday and with no talks planned there will be another strike for 24-hours on 27 September.
The strike that has grounded nearly all BA flights is costing the airline £40m a day, and according to British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) the pay dispute could have been settled for as little as £5m.
British Airways said in a statement, “We understand the frustration and disruption Balpa’s strike action has caused our customers. After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.
“We remain ready and willing to return to talks with Balpa. Unfortunately, with no detail from Balpa on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100% of our flights.”
British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz said, “I’m really sorry for the position the cynical actions of the pilots’ union has put us in. It’s by all accounts an own goal for the union.
“It’s going to punish customers, it’s going to punish our brand, it’s going to punish the rest of our colleagues, over 90% (of BA employees) have already accepted the 11.5% deal.”