BA back in court in final bid to halt strike

Last ditch attempt to avert strike and further travel chaos

New transport minister Philip Hammond is due to meet both sides today before talks begin.
New transport minister Philip Hammond is due to meet both sides today before talks begin.

BA is set to return to court today in a final bid to avoid a strike this week by the airline's cabin crew.

According to reports, the airline has applied for an injunction to prevent a five-day strike due to start tomorrow after finding what it claimed was an irregularity in the Unite union ballot.

Cabin crew are scheduled to stage walkouts on 20 days between May 18 until June 9, heaping on the misery for travellers already dealing with UK airspace being closed due to volcanic ash from Iceland.

However, BA is also still holding talks with Unite, with the union stating yesterday that it had reached agreement in principle with BA over its plans to save 62.5 million pounds a year to counter falling demand, fuel prices and increased competition.

But the union said BA had to restore travel perks for staff for any resolution to be found.

New transport minister Philip Hammond is also due to meet both sides today before talks begin.

"The message to BA and to the union is 'keep talking'," he said in a BBC radio interview. "Sit down, talk to each other, talk about the issues and think about the long-term interests of the UK, the UK travelling public, the employees and the airline, because actually they are all the same."

Seven days of strikes in March reportedly cost the airline 45 million pounds and further damage to its reputation.

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