British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew begins their next strike on Saturday that lasts until July 16. The CAA has approved BA’s application to wet lease nine short-haul aircraft with crews from Qatar Airways to operate flights on their behalf during the strike.
British Airways has, however, already canceled some long-haul flights during the strike and disruptions to short-haul flights can be expected even when Qatar Airways is operating some of the flights.
You can access BA’s page for the strike information here.
BA still has the page up from June 19 with no updated information:
If the operator of the flight changes, the passenger is eligible for a full refund (in case they no longer need to fly or don’t want to fly for some reason on Qatar Airways under these circumstances).
I am somewhat surprised that CAA approved the BA’s application to wet lease aircraft from their shareholder (Qatar Airways owns 20% of BA’s parent IAG). Seems that their mutual goal is to break the union here.
Union and BA have already agreed about the pay. BA, however, doesn’t want to reinstate travel and other benefits for those that were on strike earlier. One would think that wet leasing aircraft from Qatar Airways and canceling flights is far more expensive than reinstating these?
Remember that BA has duty to care per EC 261/2004 even if cancellation or delay is due to the mixed fleet strike that only affects flights to/from London’s Heathrow (worldwide crew also operate from this airport).
This means that the airline is required to rebook affected passengers at their earliest convenience (passengers’ not BA’s) to their final destinations and is also required to provide hotel accommodation and food (breakfast/lunch/dinner) in case of long delays.