British Airways will ramp up its flying schedule during the next five-day strike by cabin crew from Saturday June 5 after claiming growing numbers of staff “want to work as normal”.


BA is mid-way through the current five-day strike – the second of three and due to end on Friday – with no immediate prospect of a settlement to the dispute that began over changes to staffing levels on long-haul flights.


The airline aims to operate 80% or more of its long-haul schedule to and from Heathrow during the strike on June 5-9 and at least 70% of short-haul flights – an increase from 70% of long haul and 55% of short haul this week. Gatwick and London City services will continue to operate as normal.


BA also pledged to operate all 26 scheduled weekly departures to South Africa for the World Cup.


However, cabin crew union Unite has threatened to hold a new strike ballot that would extend the dispute into the summer holiday. Strikers could be legally subject to dismissal once the next strike period ends without another ballot.


Union joint general secretary Tony Woodley accused BA of “bullying” and told a Unite conference the airline should “learn some manners”. A fresh ballot would recognise the shift in the nature of the dispute, which has become primarily about the withdrawal of staff travel concessions following the first bout of strikes in March.