British Airways has denied the threat of a pilots’ strike is causing passengers to switch to other airlines.
Pilots’ union Balpa is awaiting a High Court hearing on BA’s legal challenge to a planned strike over plans to employ pilots on separate contracts at start-up subsidiary OpenSkies.
The hearing could come at any time in the next eight weeks, with a strike postponed until after a ruling. But Balpa warned passengers would get just seven days’ notice of action if the hearing goes in its favour.
A BA spokeswoman said: “We are not aware of passengers booking with other airlines and hope the issue can be resolved.”
However, an industry source said: “Agents are suggesting passengers use alternative carriers rather than risk BA.”
An Advantage spokesman said: “It goes without saying people will book other airlines, whether or not a strike goes ahead. We saw it last year when BA cabin crew threatened to strike.”
An ABTA spokeswoman added: “We would not be surprised if agents are recommending other airlines. If there is a strike threat, people think about avoiding trouble.”
Balpa promised there would be no strike over Easter after winning a release from the normal 28-day deadline for strike action. `
OpenSkies is due to launch in June flying between New York and continental Europe.