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British Airways pilots' strike enters second day

British Airways pilots' strike enters second day

Grounded British Airways planes sit on the tarmac at Heathrow airport Terminal 5 in west London on Sep 9, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall)

LONDON: A landmark strike by British Airways pilots entered its second day on Tuesday (Sep 10) with more travel chaos - and no end in sight to the long-running dispute over pay.

BA has decided to cancel almost all its flights for the second day in a row, it announced in a statement identical to the one issued on Monday.

The carrier, which is owned by London-listed International Airlines Group, said it has cancelled nearly 100 per cent of its 850 daily flights, affecting the travel plans of more than 100,000 passengers.

READ: British Airways cancels almost all flights as it faces first global pilots' strike

However, the pilots' trade union stood firm in its demands for greater salary and benefits.

The industrial action by pilots, which is the first in BA's 100-year history, has seen flights axed for approximately 200,000 travellers, mostly from London Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

In advance of the strike, BA offered full refunds or bookings on alternative dates or flights with a different airline.

The walkout over pay by members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) trade union follows around nine months of failed talks.

With no talks scheduled, pilots will also stage another one-day strike on Sep 27.

A sign at the British Airways ticket counter shows two cancelled flights in the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport on Sep 9, 2019, in San Francisco, California. (Photo: AFP/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America)

"Pilots are standing firm and have shown just how resolute they are," BALPA boss Brian Strutton said in a brief statement.

"British Airways needs to start listening to its pilots and actually come up with ways of resolving this dispute."

READ: British Airways pilots set for landmark strike next week

BA has offered a salary increase of 11.5 per cent over three years, which it argues would boost the annual pay of some captains to £200,000 (US$246,000).

However, the union has rejected the proposal that was made in July, arguing that its members want a bigger share of the company's profits.

BALPA estimates that the 48-hour strike is costing the airline a total of £80 million but BA has yet to give an estimate.

Source: AFP/ga

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