British Airways is to cancel around 30 flights per day at London Heathrow due to a 10-day strike by security guards.
Around 1,400 members of the Unite union who work at Terminal 5, which is solely used by British Airways, are due to walk out from Friday (31 March) until 9 April in a dispute over pay with Heathrow Airports Ltd (HAL).
BA has been told by the airport to reduce its schedule on these strike days by 5 per cent, which will equate to around 32 flights per day in and out of Heathrow. The cancellations will mainly affect short-haul, multi-frequency routes with no impact on long-haul services.
“Following Heathrow’s requirement for us to reduce the number of passengers travelling during the period of its employees’ proposed strike action, we’ve regrettably had to make a small number of adjustments to our schedule,” said a BA spokesperson.
“We’ve apologised to customers whose travel plans have been affected and have offered them a range of options, including rebooking onto a new flight with us or another airline or requesting a full refund.”
Heathrow said it would implement contingency plans to keep the airport operating despite the strike by security staff.
“Our contingency plans will keep the airport operating as normal throughout,” insisted the airline in a statement. “We are deploying 1,000 additional colleagues and the entire management team, who will be in the terminals providing assistance to passengers over the busy Easter getaway.
“As at any busy time, it may take a little longer than usual to get through security, but this will be well-managed and kept flowing.”
Virgin Atlantic said that it expected Heathrow to be “particularly busy, with longer wait times at security” from 31 March to 2 April if the strike by Unite members goes ahead.
“To support existing customers with departing flights, we’ve introduced a flexible policy which allows free-of-charge rebooking, if customers prefer to avoid the busiest strike days,” added the airline in a statement.