Pilot Strike Cost British Airways $150 Million

September 27, 2019


British Airways parent IAG says the recent pilot strike cost it an estimated EUR€137 million (USD$149.6 million) after it had to cancel over 2,000 flights.

In a guidance update IAG said it expects its 2019 operating profit before exceptional items to be down €215 million from last year’s €3.485 billion.

In addition to the strike by BALPA union members at the UK flag carrier, threatened industrial action by workers at London’s Heathrow Airport had a net financial impact of €33 million.

Lower bookings at IAG’s low cost units, which include Vueling and LEVEL, are also expected to have an adverse impact of €45 million.

BA initially cancelled 4,521 flights over a seven day period around the strike dates, but subsequently reinstated 2,196, leaving 2,325 net cancellations.

“Flexible commercial policies”, allowing passengers to re-book or receive a refund on 4,070 flights not directly affected by the industrial action, added to the cost to the airline.

“There have been no further talks between British Airways and BALPA. The airline’s offer of a 11.5 percent pay increase over three years still stands and has been accepted by British Airways’ other unions, representing 90 percent of the airline’s employees,” British Airways said in a statement.

“Clearly any further industrial action will additionally impact IAG’s full year 2019 operating profit.” 

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