British Airways (BA) cabin crew could stage a walk-out in March after Unite union announced plans for a second ballot today.

Ballot papers will be issued on January 25 and the vote will take around a month to complete, meaning the strike could take place any time from March 4.

Peace talks between the airline and the union have so far failed to reach an agreement. A 12-day strike over Christmas was averted when a judge deemed the industrial action illegal because staff who had taken voluntary redundancy were given a vote.

Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey said that “intensive discussions” with the company had failed to secure an agreement.

“We therefore have to honour our commitment to give our members the voice they were denied by the courts before Christmas, and hold a fresh ballot for industrial action,” he said.

He added that Unite wanted to see talks with BA continue.

A spokesman for BA said the airline was “saddened but not surprised” that Unite had called another strike ballot. He said: “Under the package we have put forward, our crew will remain the best rewarded in the UK. There would be absolutely no justification for a strike.”