British Airways Pilots Back Plan for Lower-Cost Gatwick Unit
(Bloomberg) -- British Airways will move ahead with plans for a lower cost short-haul operation at London’s Gatwick airport after pilots voted in favor of a revised deal.
BA will now consult on the strategy with remaining labor groups, together with suppliers and other stakeholders, it said Thursday. The Balpa union, which represents cockpit crew, said separately it had concluded an “important” new agreement with the carrier on pay and working hours.
Pilots at IAG SA’s flagship airline were forced to review their opposition to new contracts after BA said it would scrap European operations at Gatwick if it couldn’t slash expenses. The airline contends that a new unit is the only way forward at the airport south of London after years of losing money.
“We will now further develop our proposal to provide a full-service short-haul subsidiary operation at Gatwick, offering competitive fares to our customers,” BA said in a statement. “If we can agree a way forward with all parties, we would hope to begin operations next summer.”
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