British Airways (BA) is asking ground staff to retrain as cabin crew to avert a possible strike in March.

BA cabin crew could stage a walk-out in March after Unite union announced plans for a second ballot yesterday.

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.

In a letter to BA’s 38,000 staff, chief executive Willie Walsh said: “I am asking for volunteers to back BA by training to work alongside cabin crew who choose not to support a strike, so we are ready to keep our customers flying as much as we possibly can if this strike goes ahead.”