British Airways pilots drop court fight against OpenSkies

Well it looks as if I was right to say that British Airways pilots wouldn’t strike over OpenSkies, but I was wrong about the reason. In fact it seems we will never know whether the envisaged strike would have taken place or not.

This afternoon it’s reported that BALPA has withdrawn its court action. No word from the union yet on exactly why, but its lawyer apparently told the court that it had become clear that the case would have been subject to escalating appeals and judgements. In the meantime BA would have once again sought an injunction preventing strike action, or obtained damages if a strike went ahead. So the union would be in the same position as now, or much worse if the airline ultimately won in the courts.

I think there’s still an IFALPA employment ban in place covering OpenSkies, but I’m not sure it’s relevant now. Presumably the airline will duly launch on 19 June. The state of BA’s industrial relations is an open question however.

Although it’s a side-issue, there was actually quite an important point of European labour law at stake in all this. It’s still not settled and so it’s a great day for m’learned friends.

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