A worldwide strike by British Airways pilots has resulted in the airline’s flights from the UAE to the UK being cancelled on September 9.
The strike, the biggest in British Airways’ history, stems from a long-running pay dispute between the airline and the pilots’ union. Pilots say they are subjected to poor pay and benefits, among other grievances.
While some British Airways flights to Dubai from the UK arrived on schedule on Sunday, according to Dubai Airport’s website, flights from Dubai to the UK were cancelled. British Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to the UK were also scrapped.
The cancellations continued on September 10, with British Airways flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the UK called off.
Worldwide, thousands of British Airways flights have been cancelled. A third strike is also scheduled for September 27. Both additional days of strikes are expected to affect British Airways flights to and from the UAE.
Due to so many flights being cancelled, British Airways is urging passengers not to go to airports and to make alternative arrangements.
Flights to and from the UK by UAE-based airlines Emirates and Etihad are unaffected.
Flights between the UK and UAE are big business. According to airline data analytics firm OAG, flights between Dubai and London Heathrow in particular are among the world’s most profitable routes.
The Abu Dhabi-London Heathrow route is also among the most profitable in the Middle East.
Multiple airlines fly between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to several cities in the UK multiple times per day.
The British Airways strike has also led to massively inflated prices for travel into and out of the United Kingdom. For example, a flight from Nice, France to London Heathrow on Wednesday, September 11 – the day after the strike – was being advertised for 694 pounds ($856). Such a flight normally costs about 58 pounds (roughly $72) one-way.