PHOTO: British Airways must deal with its seventh walkout by the Unite mixed fleet cabin crew already this year. (Courtesy Flickr/Hunter Brame)
Europe is bracing itself for air travel-related labor actions on two different fronts.
Yet another British Airways walkout began today, Friday, March 3 by the United Mixed Fleet cabin crew labor union. A ‘mixed fleet’ is one that can be used on a variety of flights at any time, not just a strict assignment to, say, a smaller plane on a domestic route or a 787 on a longer international flight.
The union claims they are working at “poverty pay” compared to their colleagues, hence the walkout. If it lasts the full week, that will be 33 days this year alone that the Unite union has walked off the job.
BA, however, insists that less than one percent of its scheduled flights over the next week will be affected.
READ MORE: BA Crew To Strike Again
“Once again we will be able to fly all customers to their destinations, despite industrial action by Mixed Fleet Unite,” the airline said in a statement.
“We will operate a full schedule at Gatwick and London City airports as well as the vast majority of our Heathrow schedule. We will merge a very small number of Heathrow services, and all affected customers will be rebooked to alternative flights. We would urge customers to check their travel plans on our website, ba.com, if they need any further details.”
Across the Channel, France is readying for a potentially bigger issue as air traffic controllers are scheduled to walk out starting Monday, March 6 and return on Friday, March 10. The five-day labor action will have consequences for the lucrative routes that carry tourists from England, Spain and Portugal over French airspace.
An EasyJet spokesperson told CityA.M. newspaper: “Like all airlines, our flights to and from French airports, as well as those flying in French airspace, might be affected. Should strike action go ahead EasyJet will advise affected customers of any flight changes via e-mail and SMS."
A British Airways spokesperson said the airline was currently awaiting more information from the French authorities.