Virgin Atlantic and The British Air Line Pilots' Union have come to an agreement and the union has called off the planned industrial action. After weeks of talks and negotiations, that at times confused the public it is clear that the meetings have produced the right solution for everyone concerned. The strike would have been the first in Virgin Atlantic's history but British travellers can now continue to plan their holidays with the airline.
The deal was announced last night and has brought to an end more than a week's worth of talks aimed at avoiding strike action. In the initial ballot, pilots voted overwhelmingly to strike. 97 per cent of pilots voted to strike in a vote that had a turnout of 94 per cent. It was believed that the pilots were not happy with the pay offer Virgin Atlantic offered them but it now looks like any pay dispute has been settled. No details of the deal will be disclosed before the BALPA address their pilots, with any deal having to go through a ballot.
BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said: "pilots have never wished to inconvenience the travelling public, especially those looking forward to summer holidays. We have therefore lifted the threat of strike action. Virgin Atlantic pilots will proudly continue their role of flying passengers safely to their destinations."
Virgin Atlantic said, "We can confirm that negotiations are now concluded and BALPA will present a pay offer to its members over the coming weeks. The threat of strike action has now been removed and our flying schedule remains completely unaffected."
The news will be welcomed by British travellers this summer as fears of mass strikes and disruption look to have been avoided. The pilots union would only have had to give Virgin Atlantic one week's notice of any strike action and the strikes could have hit British holiday makers throughout the summer months. The talks have shown that negotiations are always the best course of action and British travellers can now continue making their plans for summer trips on Virgin Atlantic.