Flight International online news 08:30 GMT: British Airways (BA) has extended the cancellation of all its London Heathrow flights until at least 18:00 today (12 August) as a result of unexpected industrial action.

The Oneworld alliance carrier says in a statement that it has now been forced to cancel all its Heathrow flights “due to the uncertainty of the industrial situation at Heathrow and aircraft and flying crew being out of position”.

The dispute began yesterday when catering provider Gate Gourmet sacked hundreds of staff at its Heathrow operation, prompting some unionised BA ground staff to walk out in a show of sympathy.

“Because we have not had sufficient airport staff to operate flights into or out of Heathrow, nearly 100 of our aircraft and 1,000 pilots and cabin crew are in the wrong places around the world and we simply cannot mount a robust operation any earlier,” says BA CEO Rod Eddington, who adds that the labour action has had a “crippling operational impact”.

“It is a huge disappointment to us that we have become embroiled in someone else’s dispute. I have urged the Transport and General Workers Union and Gate Gourmet managers to resolve this dispute and end this misery for our customers.”

Source: Flight International