Fresh talks are being held between British Airways and striking BA crew as the Unite union threatens strike action over the summer holidays.

Tony Woodley, the joint general secretary of Unite, is travelling from Manchester, where the union is holding its annual conference, to London, where he will meet the airline at the conciliation service Acas.

However, as cabin crew began another five-day strike on Sunday in the latest round of strikes, bringing the total number of strike days to 16 today, the union yesterday announced it would hold fresh strike ballots which could lead to action over the summer holidays.

Should cabin crew again vote for further action, they would have a 12-week period in which they could strike.

It is thought that Unite would use a new mandate to strike to launch a series of one-day strikes over the summer as opposed to the five-day strikes it is currently imposing.

Addressing the conference in Manchester yesterday, Woodley blamed the ongoing dispute on the “hard man” stance of BA chief executive Willie Walsh and the “bullying” of BA management.

Unite is sticking to its demand to have travel perks restored to its 3,000 cabin crew who went on strike before it suspends the five-day strike to conclude a deal. But BA sources believe this is only an offer to resume negotiations on cost-cutting.

The union claimed its action to date had cost BA almost £100 million.

A further eight days remain of the current planned strikes.