BA and its pilots are in talks this week in a last-ditch effort to avert industrial action.

The airline and the British Airline Pilots Association are striving to resolve a dispute over pay and conditions at BA subsidiary airline OpenSkies.

Balpa says the new airline would employ a separate pilot workforce from BA and could offer lower salaries, driving down pay across the group. BA denies this claim.

Both sides expect talks to last all week. If they fail to reach an agreement BA aircraft could be grounded by strikes over the busy Easter period, a Balpa spokesman said.

“We’re hopeful that these talks will succeed, but if not we will move to industrial action.”

OpenSkies is due to start flying in June between New York and Paris or Brussels.