British Airways pilots will strike for three days next month after their union said the latest pay proposals from the carrier are insufficient.
Members of the British Airlines Pilots' Association will walk out on September 9, 10 and 27, the labor group said in a statement Friday. Balpa had been considering its position since mediated talks with management at the state-backed Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ended last week.
"Balpa put forward a number of packages that we believe would have resolved this dispute," it said. "BA did not accept any of these, and it is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA's most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots."
The airline said the pay offer was fair and that Balpa's action will mean many customers will not be able to travel on the affected days.
BA cockpit crews voted to strike by a 93 per cent majority in a poll in July, with the carrier saying the disruption could cost $75 million (40 million pounds) a day. A walkout by UK pilots at Ryanair Holdings fizzled out earlier as the discounter managed to maintain flights, though fewer staff are in the union.
The action at British Airways would come at the tail end of the peak season for European travel, threatening earnings at parent IAG SA. The UK unit's lucrative long-haul routes helped lift the group's second-quarter operating profit 18 per cent, the best performance among leading European carriers.
BA, which has about 4,000 pilots at London Heathrow and 300 at Gatwick, said it will make changes to its schedule to operate as many flights as possible, while Spanish sister carriers Iberia and Vueling, together with Ireland's Aer Lingus, could help provide additional capacity.
All the same, some flights will have to be canceled and the company will begin to inform customers in a matter of hours, Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz said on a media call. People unable to fly will be able to rebook or get a refund.
"It is completely unacceptable that Balpa is destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action," BA said, adding that it has offered a pay deal worth 11.5 per cent over three years that will take basic salaries to about 200,000 pounds.
The labor conflict comes with BA also facing pressure from a possible no-deal Brexit, which could further weaker pound against foreign currencies and cause Britons to curb spending on overseas travel. The carrier last month sought to block a strike by seeking a legal injunction, but failed in the bid.
Balpa said that the ballot results are valid until January and more strike dates may be announced.