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Impending strike, BA cancels flights next week

india Updated: Jan 26, 2007 00:02 IST
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British Airways has cancelled flights across its network due to an impending cabin crew strike scheduled on January 30 and 31, 2007. Its outbound flights from India will continue to be affected till February 2, an airline official said. 

Due to the strike planned by the cabin crew branch of the Transport & General Workers Union, British Airways will not operate any passenger flights out of London Heathrow from 0001 GMT on Tuesday January 30 until 2359 GMT on Wednesday January 31.  All domestic and European flights to and from London Gatwick will also be cancelled.

The airline has urged customers to check the airline's website (www.ba.com) regularly and use the 'Manage My Booking' link to obtain information about their individual reservation. Customers who were due to travel on any cancelled services should not come to the airport.

British Airways' flight programme is complex, involving the combination of rosters for 15,000 cabin crew, 3,000 pilots and 234 aircraft operating up to 750 services in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick every day.  

More than 8,000 crew have to be in the right place at the right time, either on aircraft, at airports or in crew hotels in more than 140 cities in 75 countries, every day.

Because of crew or aircraft being out of position, there will be further cancellations on either side of the official strike dates. Customers are advised to check ba.com to see if their flight is still operating before departing for the airport. If their flight has been cancelled they should not come to the airport but contact British Airways or their travel agent, the statement added.  

Many longhaul aircraft will depart from Heathrow during Tuesday and Wednesday. They will not have customers onboard because of the lack of cabin crew due to the strike. The aircraft will fly to destinations overseas to collect a crew down route, enabling a significant number of longhaul inbound flights to Heathrow to operate normally to bring customers home.

Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive, said:  "We are deeply sorry that our customers are the innocent victims of this unnecessary and unjustified strike. More than 15,000 customers a day have contacted us since the union announced a series of 72-hour strikes, extremely concerned about their winter holidays and business trips.  Announcing our contingency plans means we can end uncertainty for customers caught up in the first round of strikes and help them make other plans."

He added, "If we postponed the cancellation of flights until the eve of a strike, customers would have virtually no time to make alternative arrangements. We remain absolutely determined to search for a negotiated settlement and our door remains open to the T&G, day or night. We regret that the T&G has not supported our initiative to seek the assistance of the Acas conciliation service."

The airline will allow any customer due to travel on a British Airways flight cancelled by the strike to claim a full refund, rebook their flight for a later date or be rebooked by British Airways with another airline, the statement added.

Customers to rebook can contact British Airways on:

Delhi (Gurgaon): (95124) 4120747
Chennai :  98403 77470
Kolkata:  98313 77470
Mumbai: 98925 77470
Bangalore: 1800-180-1213 (Toll free from BSNL lines) or 1800-102-1213 (Toll free from Airtel/Touchtel lines)

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