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British Airways cabin crew start four-day strike

world Updated: Mar 27, 2010 09:12 IST

AFP
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British Airways cabin crew launched a four-day strike on Saturday, the second wave of action in a week as part of a bitter, long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

BA has pledged that more than three-quarters of its passengers, or over 180,000 out of 240,000, will still be able to travel as planned during the walkout, which follows a similar three-day action last week.

Another 18 per cent of its customers have been rebooked with other airlines, or have switched their travel dates to avoid the strike period, it said.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said the "vast majority" of its staff were "pulling together to serve our customers and keep our flag flying".

"At the same time, I feel really sorry for those customers whose plans have been ruined by the Unite union's completely unjustified action," he added.

Amid growing hostility between BA and trade union Unite, whose members are staging seven days in total of strikes, the union claimed the total cost to BA would be USD 149 million.

"If you add together the cost of lost bookings, of revenue effectively transferred to other airlines along with BA passengers, the cost of (leased) aircraft and the cost of knock-on post-strike disruption, this is the ball-park area we are in," the union said in a statement.

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