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British Airways Grounds Hundreds of Flights Ahead of Pilot Strike



British Airways has grounded nearly all of the 1,600-plus flights scheduled to fly to and from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of the airlines/british-airways-loses-legal-bid-to-stop-pilots-from-striking.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>largest strike in the carrier’s history.

“We’re extremely sorry for the problems caused by the strike action called by the pilots’ union, Balpa,” the airline said in a statement. “If your flight is canceled, please do not go to the airport.”

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The U.K.’s Independent reported that British Airways has transferred most of the estimated 240,000 passengers booked on strike-affected flights to other services on its own aircraft on different days or aircraft belonging to as many as 50 other carriers.

British Airways is operating a relatively normal schedule Sunday, with flight-tracking website reporting only 44 cancellations and 104 delays for the carrier as of 10:30 a.m. ET (3:30 p.m. London time).

The plan, according to the Independent, is for aircraft serving long-haul destinations and some European cities to remain on the ground at foreign airports Monday and Tuesday to avoid overcrowding Heathrow and Gatwick.

British Airways will operate at least two routes Monday and Tuesday, including Gatwick to New York City via third-party airline Evelop and inbound service from Sydney via Singapore.

Even after Tuesday, British Airways airlines/a-passengers-guide-to-surviving-airline-strike-season.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>customers might not be out of the woods as pilots are planning another strike for September 27.

The airline confirmed that it “proposed an offer of 11.5 percent over three years to Balpa…which we believe is fair.” However, Balpa is disputing the figure.

“Our members’ resolve is very strong and they remain very angry with BA but they also want to leave no stone unturned in trying to find a resolution to their dispute,” said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton in a statement. “Avoiding strike action and agreeing to a deal with their pilots surely must be the desired outcome for British Airways.”

Monday’s and Tuesday’s work stoppage is expected to cost British Airways £100 million ($122.8 million) in lost revenue and additional costs.

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