Heathrow strike action suspended on Monday as talks resume


A strike planned by Heathrow Airport workers on Monday has been called off, as talks continue to stop a further walkout on Tuesday.

Some 2,500 workers had planned to strike on both days in a row over pay.

Britain’s busiest airport cancelled 177 flights – roughly one in seven departures – after the Unite union rejected a pay offer.

But British Airways said it will now reinstate flights from Heathrow on Monday.

Air Canada said it is planning to operate its full flight schedule on Monday.

Virgin Atlantic has not cancelled flights but will continue with its plan to move them from Heathrow to Gatwick.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said: “These services will not revert back to the original London Heathrow schedule and will remain in place.”

A Heathrow spokesman advised passengers to check with their airlines to see if there were any changes to cancelled fights.

He said: “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.”

Flybe, Swiss, Lufthansa, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus, and TAP Air Portugal were among those to have confirmed cancellations, but it is not yet known if they will now reinstate flights.

Prior to the suspension of Monday’s strike action, airlines had begun to contact affected passengers, after some complained they had been left in the dark about whether their flights were affected.

Heathrow warned that security queues at the airport would be longer than normal, with passengers advised to arrive at least three hours before long-haul departures and two hours before short-haul.

Airlines also said they would impose restrictions on hand luggage to speed up boarding.

Paul Icklow from London, who is meant to fly to Spain with his family on Tuesday, told the BBC earlier that British Airways had been unable to give any information on Sunday morning, leaving him “frustrated”.

Meanwhile, Sarah McFadyen from Eastbourne said her flight to Abu Dhabi had initially been cancelled, then Etihad told her it “might still go”.

“So I have to turn up at Heathrow four hours before my flight to find out if it’s going… I am confused, frustrated.”

Heathrow says passengers will be able to rebook their flights for a different day, although choices may be limited given that August is peak holiday season.