Three unions representing 40,000 British Airways employees have declared formal trade disputes with the airline.

Balpa, Unite and GMB say that BA has offered “too little too late” following negotiations over pay, profit sharing and a sharesave scheme as a term of employment which began in November 2018.

Balpa, the pilots’ union, has issued formal notice to BA of its strike ballot while Unite and GMB will be balloting their respective members in the near future.

Brian Strutton, general secretary, Balpa, said: “All three unions have been working for the benefit of their respective members. Given we collectively represent some 40,000 employees, this is something that British Airways should pay careful attention to.

“For the pilots that Balpa represents, it is quite simple: BA has been enormously profitable, and the employees should have a fair share of that success which, after all, they produce for the company.”

In a media statement, Balpa said: “Set against a backdrop of record profits, and despite there being some progress, BA’s offer is too little too late. It also fails to address the fundamental principle of fairness by denying employees a reasonable share of the success they have helped produce.”

BA urged the unions to “join us for mediation with the conciliation service Acas, to reach an agreement and protect hard-working families planning their summer breaks”.

A spokesman said: “We believe our pay and benefits for pilots are among the best in the industry, with around 1,000 applications from pilots who want to move to us from other airlines every year.”