British Airways will use Qatar Airways planes and crew during strike

LONDON - MAY 18: British Airways planes sit at Heathrow Airport on May 18, 2006 in London, England. British Airways will announce their Q4 and year end results tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
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British Airways will use Qatar Airways planes and crew to fly all its passengers to their destinations during a planned two-week strike by some cabin crew.

The strike by BA’s mixed fleet cabin crew – those who work on both long and short-haul flights – is due to begin on Saturday.

BA had already applied to Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to use nine Qatar-registered Airbus A320 or A321s between July 1 and July 16 and Walsh, chief executive of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), said the plan would go ahead.

“I’ll be pleased to say that those aeroplanes will fly and all of the British Airways passengers who are booked to fly with us over the next couple of weeks will be flying,” Walsh told reporters in Brussels on Thursday, when asked if the application to use the planes had been successful.

Members of the mixed fleet crew are engaged in a long-running dispute with BA about pay. The forthcoming strike is over sanctions on union members involved in previous industrial action.

The deal could help Qatar make more use of its planes after its operations were disrupted by a boycott from four Arab nations, forcing it to seek out other destinations on which to use its planes.

BA and Qatar Airways have close ties. Both are partners in the OneWorld alliance and code share on certain flights, while the Doha-based carrier owns a 20 percent stake in BA parent International Airlines Group.

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