IATA slams Unite for BA strikes

by William ASTON on May 28, 2010

Yesterday, the trade body that represents the airline industry accused British Airways cabin crews for being unrealistic as numbers were posted unveiling the extent of commercial damage caused by the volcanic eruption last month.

In an unexpected move, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) chief executive said that the industrial action and labour unrest that has swept through Europe was extraordinary. Giovanni Bisignani, using Unite’s and the BA cabin crew workers’ actions as an example, the IATA boss said that Labour would do well to realise that their paycheques are directly linked to the performance of the company. He added that in the midst of a fragile recovery was not an appropriate time for industrial action.

Calling the entire situation, ‘divorced from reailty’, Mr Bisignani said it was dangerous to strike during economic turbulence. His statements are in line with IATA’s publication of figures on the flight disruptions as a result of the Eyjafjallaj√∂kull volcano eruption in Iceland that shut down European airspace for nearly a week last month.

As a result global passenger traffic fell 2.4 per cent, while airline traffic across Europe fell 11.7 per cent just last month. During the six day closures, which affected airports from Britain to Morocco, 100,000 jets were grounded causing widespread frustration from both passengers and operators. The damage was added to an already flailing industry that was fresh on the mend from the recession.

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