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            january 28, 2020

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British Airways locked in negotiations to avert strike by pilots


British Airways and British Airlines Pilots Association are in talks to avert a strike in the midst of the summer travel season, reports the American Journal of Transportation.
Both sides are meeting before the state-backed Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service after the carrier, a unit of IAG, failed in a bid to have a court block the strike plans.
The union said it would participate in the talks until the end of the week and, if a deal wasn't found, give management a required two-week strike notice. Crews have voted with a 93 per cent majority to approve industrial action, which the carrier has said could cost GBP40 million (US$48 million) per day.
"Our talks with the union continue, and we remain open and flexible to find a solution," BA said in a statement. The union declined comment.
The disruption would come at the tail end of the peak season for European travel and could dent IAG earnings. The group reported that BA's lucrative long-haul routes helped lift second-quarter operating profit 18 per cent to give it the best performance among leading European carriers.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said the group's other airlines, including Iberia and Vueling in Spain and Ireland's Aer Lingus, would help in the event of any labour strife at BA. It would also try to benefit from any reduction in capacity if strikes go ahead, he said.
"BA will do whatever they can do to assist the customers," Mr Walsh said on a call with analysts about results. The rest of the group will do what they can do to take advantage of the unfortunate situation and support and help BA in their efforts to look after customers.

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