Pilots’ union in court battle with BA

The British pilots’ union Balpa began its High Court case against British Airways yesterday. Balpa is arguing it has the right to strike over the flag carrier’s plan to launch Open Skies later this year, a new service from European cities to America without using union pilots.

Talks between the two sides regarding pay and conditions for BA pilots in the new airline and the recruitment of others outside the company broke down in March. Balpa did not call a strike - despite an 86% ‘Yes’ vote by members in favour of action - after BA threatened to apply for damages, asserting it had a right under the EC Treaty to start operating from another EU Member State.

The case is set to last a week.