Pilots at British Airways have voted strongly in favour of a strike in a dispute over pay.
Some 93 per cent of those staff represented by the British Airline Pilots’ Association voted for industrial action, on a 90 per cent turnout.
BALPA general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “This strong result demonstrates the resolve of British Airways pilots, and shows British Airways that it must table a sensible improved offer if a strike is to be averted.
“Sadly, three days of ACAS talks have not moved the company’s position one iota.
“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November – it is British Airways who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”
British Airways said it was “very disappointed” that the union was threatening “the travel plans of thousands of our customers”.
The carrier will seek to secure an injunction against industrial action in the High Court on Tuesday, meaning any further negotiations are on hold.
BALPA believes the cost to BA to settle dispute in full is significantly less than the cost would be of even a single day’s strike action.
Strutton added: “British Airways is making massive profits as a result of the hard work and dedication of staff, including because of sacrifices made during hard times.
“Thankfully British Airways is no longer in a fight for survival so, like the airline’s senior managers and directors, pilots deserve a small fraction of that profit via, for instance, a profit share scheme.
“We currently do not have dates for any potential strike action and will issue an update on this in due course.
“We remain hopeful that this dispute can be resolved before strike action, but we remain committed to action if necessary.”
Commenting on the potential strike, Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, said British Airways must make adequate preparations.
“This potential disruption comes at the worst possible time for millions of people getting ready to head off for hard-earned summer breaks – so it is vital for BA to plan ahead and make sure they have the staff and capacity to minimise the impact on passengers,” he added.
“If a strike by airline staff causes severe delays or cancellation, passengers may be entitled to substantial compensation pay-outs, as well as assistance and a refund or rerouting, depending on circumstances.”