Talks between British Airways and cabin crew have broken down and the Unite union will recommend rejection of the airline’s latest offer in a ballot over the next week.

However, the union will not announce any fresh strikes “at this stage . . . in view of the continuing disruption to BA operations caused by the volcano eruption and the fact that many passengers remain stranded abroad”.

There had been widespread hope there would be no return to the dispute over crewing levels on long-haul flights following seven days of strike action before Easter.

Lengthy talks between Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley and BA chief executive Willie Walsh appeared to have laid the ground for a deal.

However, BA’s withdrawal of travel concessions to those who went on strike has become a sticking point.

Woodley blamed BA for the breakdown, saying: “The blame rests exclusively with an intransigent management which is determined to persecute employees who supported the lawful strike action last month. Management has refused to budge on victimising cabin crew.

“I am asking all BA cabin crew to reject the offer in the ballot.”

BA declined to comment.