British Airways is poised to announce plans to fly from continental Europe to the US this summer – but it could face opposition from pilots.

The airline is reported to be recruiting pilots for the operation, codenamed Project Lauren, which will be run as a separately licensed subsidiary.

BA is expected to begin operations from Paris and Brussels to New York when restrictions on services between Europe and the US end on March 30. Rival Air France has already announced services from Heathrow to the US.

Chief executive Willie Walsh is expected to unveil details today. However, BA’s existing pilots will require guarantees that the operation will not eat into their pay and conditions.