Cabin crew union Unite say strikes will cost British Airways far more than they are estimating

Airport news for London City,Heathrow on 29/03/2010.

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Unite say British Airways are grossly underestimating the cost of cabin crew strikes, suggesting the official figure is more than double the one quoted by the airline. Unite’s two cabin crew strikes will cost BA around £100 million according to the labour union.

The union, who are spearheading this week’s second bout of flight attendant strikes against BA, say the combined seven-day strike will be costing around £15-£20 million-a-day, rather than the £7 million-a-day suggested by the airline.

This, Unite say, would effectively cover the loss of bookings, post-strike disruption, wet-leased aircraft and revenue transferred to other airlines. The union also claims that 65 per cent of the passengers accounted for by the airline during last week’s strikes, flew with other carriers.

BA says it will fly 75 per cent of passengers during this week’s strikes, which are running for three days from Saturday. They say they will be operating at 100 per cent from Gatwick and London City airports, with 55 per cent of short-haul flights and 70 per cent of long-haul flights running from Heathrow.

The dispute stems from BA’s decision to cut jobs and freeze cabin crew wages in the face of the economic downturn. Last week’s strike between March 20 and 22 saw around 60 per cent of cabin crew cross the picket line.

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