Talks aimed at averting a potentially damaging summer strike are due to start between British Airways and its pilots today (Monday).

Pilots have rejected a pay rise worth 11.5% over three years, described by the airline as “fair and generous”.

But the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has argued that its members deserve a better offer, as the airline has been making healthy profits.

The two sides are due to meet at the conciliation service Acas, the BBC reported.

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Pilots have until July 22 to vote in a strike ballot. If the vote is in favour and the Balpa calls a strike, it would have to give the airline two weeks’ notice.

That would make August 5 the earliest starting date for industrial action – one of the busiest periods of the summer peak travel period.

Industrial action would be likely to cause severe disruption as Balpa represents around 90% of the BA’s pilots.

The airline said: “We urge Balpa to come to an agreement to protect hard-working families planning their summer breaks.”

Cabin crew have already agreed to BA’s offer.

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