British Airways’ Flight – St. Kitts Airport
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre – Nevis
March 22, 2010
British Airways flight into St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on Saturday operated as scheduled.
A Police Inspector in the Immigration Department, Ms. Elrethea Richardson said Monday British Airways arrived on Saturday on time with 134 passengers.
She said 100 passengers were onboard when it departed for the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua enroute to London-Gatwick.
British Airways is expected to introduce a second weekly flight into St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on March 30 and this flight is not expected to be affected by industrial action.
In London, the BBC reported that striking British Airways cabin crew offered on Monday to resume talks with the company to try to settle a dispute.
Cabin crew were due to return to work on Tuesday after a three-day stoppage that has disrupted flights from London’s main Heathrow airport.
Unions plan a second, four-day stoppage from next Saturday, grounding flights before the busy Easter holiday period, in a dispute that centres on cost-cutting plans and staffing levels.
“They want me to work for less than half I’m earning now. I’d lose my home,” said one striking cabin crew member with 20 years experience. “The media is portraying us as spoilt rotten, overpaid waitresses.”
Addressing a lively rally of union members at a sports ground close to London’s Heathrow Airport, Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley accused BA management of an attempt to destroy union influence.
“This dispute is costing this company an arm and a leg. We can reach a negotiated settlement. Come back to the table,” he urged BA, as union members around him banged drums and blew whistles, brandishing cardboard cut outs of BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh with demon red eyes.
BA said the impact of the strike had been limited and that there was no estimate yet as to how much it would cost the company.
“Over the weekend more than 75 per cent of our flights around the world departed punctually, with several hundred departing early,” it said in a statement.
Share market reaction was muted, BA shares shedding less than one percent in a lower market.
The dispute arose because BA, which has 12,000 cabin crew, wants to save an annual 62.5 million pounds ($95 million) to help cope with a fall in demand, volatile fuel prices and increased competition from low-cost carriers.
The company has leased planes and crew from budget airline Ryanair) to help keep passengers on the move.