Expert Warns Of Higher Prices Amid Ongoing British Airways Pilot Strike

British Airways
A British Airways Airbus A320-200 aircraft sits on the tarmac at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain January 8, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo)

Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) who work under British Airways (BA) launched their two-day pilot strike on Monday in what could be the most historical strike in the sector yet.

An expert said on Tuesday that the strike will result in higher prices.

According to the Telegraph, an official with the British transport committee, Steve Double MP, noted that flight prices will most likely hike in the coming weeks. The BALPA has threatened another strike on September 27 should BA choose to reject their calls for negotiation.

Double noted that passengers who have booked with British Airways for the Christmas season should consider rebooking their holiday flights. This is because the limited number of flights with BA could drive prices in other airlines.

When the strike kicked off Monday, over 1,700 flights were canceled and around 280,000 passengers were impacted. At that time, British Airways said BALPA did not offer any details regarding the number of pilots that will drop work from Monday to Tuesday.

BA said it feels "extremely sorry" for how the dispute with BALPA ended up and how the strike affected passengers who were expecting to fly yesterday. The two parties have expressed interest in getting back on the negotiation table. However, the deadlock remains.

Business flight prices have already been impacted largely by the strike. Easyjet flights were sold out on Monday but for Tuesday's morning and evening returning flights, a massive $5,413 in the economy will be spent by a single passenger, CNN reported.

Another example is flights to Cairo, Egypt. For other dates of travel this month, the median price is at £415. However, for departure and return flights on Monday and Tuesday respectively, an economy booking costs £2,502 or approximately $3,087.

The strike took place after months of dispute between BALPA members and British Airways executives. BALPA pilots have been requesting for a pay raise but BA said it would take a toll on finances.

According to The Guardian, the union's General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said pilots sacrificed "big pay cuts" during periods wherein British Airways had financial struggles. This time, Strutton said, the group's members should be heard.

Strutton further noted that British Airways is now making "billions of pounds of profit" and it is out of the question that its pilots have a fair share of the revenue benefits that they should be offered with.

He added that BA is "putting profits" before the necessities of passengers and pilots or other staff members. He revealed that executives were earning more and have "generous" benefits that pilots do not have.

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