British Airways pilots vote to strike

British Airways is having a tough week. Not only has the baggage system at its London Heathrow base broken down, forcing the carrier to tell long-haul passengers not to bother bringing any hold luggage with them, but its pilots have voted to go on strike for the first time in nearly 30 years.

BA’s pilots are protesting the carrier’s planned new OpenSkies subsidiary, which the pilots see as a “Trojan horse” which will “force down” their pay and conditions.

This is the last thing BA needs with its move into Terminal 5 just around the corner, and will no doubt dampen the optimism expressed by chief executive Willie Walsh during his recent cover interview with Airline Business.

The pilots union BALPA has not set a date for the planned strike, but it could prove catastrophic for the grand opening of the much trumpeted T5 if the two events coincide.

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