Certain Virgin Atlantic pilots are reportedly being balloted over Christmas strike action in a long-standing row over union recognition.

Talks are due to take place tomorrow (Friday) in a last-ditch attempt to avert industrial action.

Members of the Professional Pilots Union are voting on whether to strike over the busy festive period, according to The Sun.

Part of the dispute centres on flight allowances and expenses.

The airline said it was aware of the reports but stressed that flights continue to operate as normal.

An attempted walkout failed last December after the airline secured a High Court injunction to prevent strikes.

But the strike was ruled to be unlawful because the union failed to properly notify the carrier of the number and category of staff being balloted.

Virgin Atlantic disputes the PPU’s claim that it is the biggest union representing pilots at the airline.

The carrier recognises the British Airline Pilots Association which is understood to represent more than half of its pilots.

Virgin Atlantic said: “Currently we have no active industrial dispute with our pilots.

“We’re aware of reports that the PPU, which represents a minority of our pilot workforce, may be considering a ballot for industrial action over union recognition.

“We value our pilot workforce enormously and have an ongoing and constructive relationship with our recognised union, Balpa.

“We’ve also been encouraged by the discussions that started earlier this year between Balpa and the PPU, in an attempt to identify a framework for working together.

“We would like to reassure customers that all Virgin Atlantic flights continue to operate as normal.”

The union said: “Despite the Professional Pilots Union representing a significant number of Virgin Atlantic pilots the airline refuses to recognise it in any negotiations over its member’s pay and conditions.
“Our issue is not about money, simply the right to be represented by a chosen union. It has a zero cost to the company.
“Within 24 hours of informing the company of our intention to ballot our members on industrial action, we have suddenly been offered last-ditch talks on Friday to avert strike action.
“We are encouraged by this offer and hope that genuine progress can be made.”