Pilots union Balpa says it currently has “no talks planned” with British Airways (BA) ahead of its proposed strike action next month.
On Wednesday (28 August), BA said Balpa had indicated it was open to reopening communications via government conciliation service Acas.
Balpa responded by stating it had written to BA chief executive Alex Cruz inviting him to “meet on the basis he said he wanted to resolve the dispute”.
However, on Thursday (29 August), Balpa said it wished to “correct BA’s spin” and stress there were no talks planned with the airline.
“Following BA chief executive Alex Cruz’s personal promise that he wanted to reach a resolution, Balpa wrote to him welcoming this approach and asked to meet him to hear his proposals,” said Balpa in a statement.
“We have not had a response from Mr Cruz. Other BA staff have indicated they will meet, but have not confirmed that they will put forward a better offer.”
General secretary Brian Strutton said, “It’s disappointing Mr Cruz has not replied to us having promised to get involved. This dispute will only be settled, and these strike will only be called off, when BA improve their offer enough to satisfy their pilots. Until BA indicate that they are willing to do that, there is absolutely no point in any talks.
“I hope we will hear from Alex Cruz positively today [Thursday 29 August].”
Balpa and BA are embroiled in a bitter dispute over pay, with Balpa claiming the IAG-owned airline, which posted annual profits of £2 billion last year, is failing to adequately reward pilots for the part they play in the airline’s success.
Members have turned down an 11.5% pay rise over three years and voted 90% on a 93% turnout in favour of strike action over September 9-10 and against on 27 September.
A BA spokesperson told TTG: "We have continued to urge Balpa to return to talks since they issued strike dates, and this was reiterated again yesterday afternoon.
"Our negotiating team is standing by and open to discussion, with Alex Cruz’s full support."
A number of passengers were wrongly told by BA on Friday (23 August) and over the weekend their flights had been cancelled due to the strikes. BA has apologised for what it has described as an “error”.
BA said it had agreements in place with other airlines to provide rebooking options, and was working to increase this further, adding discussions were ongoing with partner airlines to put larger airlines on routes affected by the proposed strikes.
The airline though declined to comment further when approached by TTG to further explain the nature of the CAA’s enquiry and whether it had issued a response to the CAA.
The CAA also failed to comment when contacted by TTG for further details.