Heathrow Airport chiefs in last-ditch talks to avert tomorrow’s planned strike

Heathrow Airport and the United union are holding last-ditch talks to prevent strike action – which if it takes place is set to cause chaos tomorrow (6 August) at the UK hub.

Monday’s strike was called off late on Sunday and some airlines, such as British Airways, reinstated flights, although 16 flights were cancelled, including three by Lufthansa.

With a walkout of workers still scheduled for Tuesday, many more flights risk being cancelled.

Heathrow had initially cancelled 177 flights a few days when the two-day strike action was announced. A total of 676 flights were scheduled for departure today, while 16 were cancelled, five were moved to other London airports.

Talks are talking place at the conciliation service Acas over the pay deal, which Heathrow says is worth 7.3 per cent over two-and-a-half years.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Unite have chosen to postpone their strike action today. Strike action on Tuesday 6 August is still scheduled to go ahead.

“We are continuing talks with Unite today and we remain hopeful that we can find a resolution and stop this disruptive and unnecessary threat of strike action.

“We regret that passengers have been inconvenienced by this and urge them to contact their airline for up-to-date information on the status of their service.”

Once Monday’s strike was suspended, British Airways reinstated flights from Heathrow as did Air Canada, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, Flybe and TAP Air Portugal.Virgin Atlantic moved flights from Heathrow to Gatwick, as did Qatar which also cancelled two flights.

Yesterday, the Unite union said: “Under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas, tomorrow’s talks will involve senior directors from Heathrow Airport and senior Unite officials with the aim of averting a second day of planned strike action set to start at 00:01 and finish at 23:59 on Tuesday 6 August.

“Unite will not be making any further comment while talks are ongoing.”