UK carrier is aiming to hire crews on lower Gatwick rates.

Airport news for Flights,Heathrow on 28/06/2010.

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British Airways is hoping to hire new cabin crew who will be based at Heathrow but paid at lower Gatwick rates. The airline made the announcement only days after the Unite union announced a new ballot on strike action. The last wave of strikes by BA cabin crew ended little more than two weeks ago.

BA cabin crew based at Heathrow have long been paid at higher rates than colleagues based at Gatwick. British Airways says it simply cannot afford to continue paying rates it says are out of line with both the industry and what it pays other cabin crew. The carrier said it has suffered two years of record economic losses and must continue adjusting its costs if it is to survive.

BA is aiming to hire 1,250 new staff over the next year and expects 40 per cent of cabin crew to be new recruits within ten years. The ongoing dispute between British Airways and cabin crew stems from industrial action in March that arose out of months of arguing over contracts. On Friday, BA made to Unite what it said is its final offer. The strike ballot scheduled for Tuesday has been halted while the union considers the latest offer.

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