From Friday 19th to Monday 22nd, British Airways (BA) cancelled 238 flights from eleven of its UK airports, including 90% of all scheduled flights to Scotland, as a three-day strike by its cabin crew team entered its final phase.
Glasgow Airport was left with just one flight to the English capital, whereas Aberdeen and Edinburgh were stripped of all but seven and two flights respectively.
The airline loses an estimated £7m for every day that its stewards fail to turn up for work, leading some commentators to believe that BA boss, Willie Walsh, is just being stubborn.
With a second four-day strike pencilled in for the 27th, general workers union, Unite, is confident that BA’s business model is crumbling and an end to its siege of the airline is just around the corner.
Unite has been fighting to prevent BA from cutting jobs and slashing wages. The union has been unable to break the airline in 13 months, however, a testament to either Willie Walsh’s dedication or a stunning example of mule-like inflexibility.
He branded the strike a ‘cynical attack’ on BA’s customers. Gordon Brown called it ‘deplorable’ whilst Unite continued to accuse the airline of looking for a fight.
Early this morning, BA advised all striking staff members that their travel bonuses had been permanently revoked, including entitlements to free or discounted flights. The news will undoubtedly be viewed as an act of desperation by Unite and the British tabloids, but there is currently no reason for BA to back down.
The airline claims that contingency plans are working and the escalating cost of the strike will have minimal effect on the airline’s profits. Unite has promised not to arrange a picket over the Easter holidays, but beyond that, there is no end in sight.