Heathrow cancels flights in response to planned strike

Aircrafts taxi along the perimeter of the north runway, centre, and past passenger terminal buildings at London Heathrow Airport. (Bloomberg pic)

LONDON: Heathrow Airport cancelled 172 flights on Monday and Tuesday in response to planned industrial action by ground staff at the key London hub, the BBC reported.

About 88% of the 4,000 Unite union members who voted rejected a pay offer and opted to strike on Aug 5-6, meaning that around 2,500 staff will miss their shifts, the BBC said on its website late yesterday.

There are 91 airlines affected, including British Airways, which is already embroiled in an industrial dispute with pilots that may lead to a separate strike at the height of the holiday season.

Heathrow told the BBC that the airport is “working with airlines to proactively consolidate flights and re-book passengers onto alternative services in advance.”

Unite’s Wayne King said in a statement that the vote for a strike points to “growing anger” among the airport’s support staff, according to the report.

IAG SA, the parent company of British Airways, is in talks with the British Airlines Pilots Association in a bid to defuse a pay dispute.

Bloomberg has reported that the two parties have agreed to extend talks until the end of next week.