British Airways pilots call off strike planned for later this month

18 September 2019, 14:59 | Updated: 19 September 2019, 08:40

A strike planned by British Airways pilots for 27 September has been called off, the pilots' union has said.

The British Airline Pilots Association's general secretary, Brian Strutton, said on Wednesday: "Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course.

"In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on 27 September."

The union warned on Wednesday that it retained the right to announce further strike dates "should BA refuse meaningful new negotiations."

It said: "BA passengers rightly expect BA and its pilots to resolve their issues without disruption and now is the time for cool heads and pragmatism to be brought to bear.

"I hope BA and its owner IAG show as much responsibility as the pilots."

BALPA said the 48-hour strike across 9 and 10 September - the first-ever by British Airways pilots - had demonstrated their anger and resolve, and that it was now time to reflect, "before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand".

BA said in a statement: "We have just received this news.

"We are considering the implications and we will give updates in due course."

"Almost all" UK departures and international departures scheduled for last Monday and Tuesday were cancelled in a long-running dispute between the airline and union over pay.

In an interview with Sky News during the strike, the airline's chief executive, Alex Cruz, said the action was an "own goal" and part of a "cynical" action by the union.

The striking pilots had rejected a pay rise from BA worth 11.5% over the next three years, saying it was not reflected in the strong financial results enjoyed by the company.