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British Airways aircraft on the tarmac of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport on 9 September. Ben STANSALL / AFP

British Airways pilots are on strike for the first time in their history. The movement, scheduled for Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 September, is due to a disagreement on the salaries of pilots.

From our correspondent in London, Muriel Delcroix

Faced with the determination of its some 4,000 pilots to support this move, British Airways had to cancel almost 100% of its flights in the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands of passengers have been warned not to go to airports, making the atmosphere at Heathrow Terminal 5, which is usually overloaded, ghostly.

This is the first strike in their history for British Airways pilots, owned by the Spanish-British group, which also includes Spain's Iberia and Ireland's Aer Lingus. Nearly 93% of the members of the Balpa union voted for the movement. A move decided after the failure of negotiations on wage increases.

Cost reduction strategy

The management of British Airways claims to have proposed a salary increase of 11.5% over three years, offers it considers " fair " but was rejected because, according to the union, pilots have made sacrifices in recent years and should better benefit from the good results of the company.

They criticize a cost reduction strategy in an effort to enrich the company on the backs of its employees and passengers. Another strike is currently scheduled for 27 September.

Terminal 5 at Heatrhrow Airport Deserted, September 9, following the pilots' strike. Rahul Kalia via REUTERS