BA to beat strike with more flights

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British Airways is planning to increase its flight schedule during the next strike by cabin crew because "growing numbers" of staff want to work as normal.

The airline's announcement came as both sides in the long-running dispute over pay and conditions resumed talks at the conciliation service Acas yesterday. Members of the Unite union were out on strike for the third day of a five-day walkout, with another five-day stoppage due to start on Saturday.

The union has warned of further strikes this summer but will have to hold a fresh ballot of members, which is likely to take up to five weeks to organise.

BA said it would increase its schedule next week to operate more than 80 per cent of its usual number of long-haul flights to and from Heathrow – up from 70 per cent this week and 60 per cent during the first strike in March. It will be also increase its Heathrow short-haul schedule to 60 per cent of flights, up from 55 per cent this week. Flights into and out of Gatwick will remain unaffected.