UK airport strike dates latest: How will passengers be affected at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports?

Families across the UK could be facing travel chaos as strikes threaten to cripple some of the UK’s major airports.

Staff at Heathrow Airport have suspended strike action, but still plan to walk-out on three additional dates in August. Strikes at Gatwick Airport are also due to take place throughout the month.

Meanwhile, scheduled strikes by EasyJet staff at Stansted have been called off.

Here’s everything you need to know so far about the airport strikes this summer:

Heathrow Airport has said it is “disappointed” at the strike action (Steve Parsons/PA)

Heathrow Airport

An estimated 2,500 Heathrow Airport workers had planned to strike at the beginning of August in a dispute over pay.

But the industrial action scheduled for August 5 was later called off by the union so talks could resume between the two sides.

In a statement on Sunday evening, Unite said a planned strike on Tuesday August 6 was still scheduled to go ahead but hoped talks on Monday would prevent it.

In a statement on Sunday evening, Unite said a planned strike on Tuesday August 6 was still scheduled to go ahead but hoped talks on Monday would prevent it.

It said: “Tomorrow’s strike by Unite members working for Heathrow Airport has been suspended to allow for further talks at Acas tomorrow.

“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.”

Heathrow Airport is Britain’s busiest (Rachel Moore / Pixabay)

Air Canada will operate its full flight schedule from Heathrow airport on Monday. Both Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways also confirmed it will reinstate flights.

Virgin Atlantic has not cancelled any of its flights, but will continue with its plans to move from Heathrow to Gatwick.

Responding to the decision to call of strike action on Monday, a spokesman for Heathrow said: “We will continue talks with Unite tomorrow and we remain hopeful that we can find a resolution and stop this disruptive and unnecessary strike action.

“Airlines may choose to reinstate impacted flights.

“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.

“While the vast majority of flights will be unaffected, some airlines are making arrangements to operate flights from other UK airports, others will be delaying flights and unfortunately a number will be cancelled.

“Airlines have now started to contact passengers on affected flights and passengers should contact their airline for more information.

“We recommend passengers check their flight status before travelling to the airport and read the guidance on to prepare for their journey.”

Stansted Airport

In July, EasyJet staff at Stansted announced a 17-day strike after a long-running pay dispute.

Walkouts were meant to be staged on July 25 to 29, August 2 to 5, August 9 to 12, August 16 to 19 and August 23 to August 27, but were later called off after a new pay deal was accepted.

EasyJet staff called off strikes due to take place in July and August. (PA)

Members of the Unite union said a package accepted by EasyJet check-in staff entailed a 13% pay rise for most of the workforce for the year starting April 2019.

Unite Regional Office Mark Barter said: “I am pleased to say that our members have voted to accept a new pay deal – as a result, all the planned strike action has been called off and our members will be working normally assisting passengers in getting away on their summer holidays.”

Gatwick Airport

Over 130 security workers at Gatwick Airport have announced industrial action this summer in a feud over pay.

The workers are demanding a wage increase from £8.50 to £9 an hour to match the standard living wage.

The strike will begin at 6am on Saturday August 10 and will last for 48 hours.

Unite regional office Jamie Major said: “ICTS workers have an incredibly responsible security role scanning the luggage of every single passenger on every single aeroplane that flies out of Gatwick Airport.

“It is a very security sensitive job to ensure the safety of the travelling public, yet the majority of these workers are paid less than £9 an hour, which is not enough to live on in the expensive south east of England, with its sky high housing costs.

“Security and safety should be the absolute top priorities and yet these workers feel undervalued, demotivated and fed up of working for an employer that doles out poverty wages.”

He added: “The strike will mean passengers will inevitably experience delays and a poorer service, but this is now in the hand of ICTS bosses and the management of Gatwick Airport.”

British Airways

British Airways lost an appeal to stop pilots embarking on strike action, resulting in potential chaos for passengers planning to travel over the busy summer holiday period.

Over 4,000 members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) voted in favour of strike action over pay disputes.

Union members rejected an offer of 11.5% wage rise over three years and if an agreement is not reached, strikes could take place later this month. 

British Airways pilots are planning strike action in a dispute over pay. (REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Sutton, said: “The Court of Appeal has today rightly dismissed BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action on a technicality.

“BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution.

“Now the window for negotiation and compromise is closing fast.

“BA need to wake up to reality. Our ballot returned 93 per cent in favour of strike action. There is a serious issue here and BA has so far refused to help us tackle it.

“On BA’s own figures submitted to the court, even a single day of strike action will cost far more than we believe it would take to settle this dispute.”


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