British Airways reached a tentative labor agreement with unionized pilots, removing the threat of a walkout through 2027 as the flagship UK carrier cements a recovery from the Covid-19 era travel slowdown.
(Bloomberg) — British Airways reached a tentative labor agreement with unionized pilots, removing the threat of a walkout through 2027 as the flagship UK carrier cements a recovery from the Covid-19 era travel slowdown.
The agreement in principle builds on pay and working-condition changes made last year, BA said in an emailed statement on Thursday. Members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association will vote on the package in coming weeks, with any deal subject to the outcome of the member ballot, a union representative said.
Pilots will receive a 4% pay raise retroactive to June, and a further 6% between December 2023 and December 2024, according to an earlier Sky News report.
The airline’s fortunes have improved since it imposed a pay cut on pilots during the Covid-19 pandemic. Parent company IAG SA announced better-than-expected second-quarter earnings in July, citing BA’s performance on North Atlantic routes from London Heathrow airport. Overall, IAG expects capacity to return to 97% of pre-Covid levels by year-end.
The deal with pilots follows an accord in August with 24,000 other staff for a 13.1% pay raise over an 18-month period. Airlines have been proactive in securing new pay deals with staff as they seek to avoid a return to last summer’s travel chaos, which saw companies scrambling to recruit enough staff to deal with the post-Covid travel boom.
The British airline came under fire for how it treated its staff during the pandemic, eventually rowing back on plans to dismiss and rehire all of its 4,300 cockpit crew. Questioned in Parliament last year amid travel delays, Corporate Affairs Director Lisa Tremble said the company was working to rebuild trust with staff and customers.
BA headed off a pilots’ strike last October by rescinding the pay cuts imposed during the pandemic.
(Updates with union comment, pay details from second paragraph)
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