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BA deal welcomed but Virgin may strike

Virgin pilots are set to be balloted over stike action

After 18 months, four strike ballots and three separate legal proceedings it seems that the bitter dispute at BA has been brought to a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

Under the agreement, approved by Unite shop stewards, but which still requires a postal ballot of 10,000 cabin crew, British Airways will offer pay increases this year and next, along with restoring free-travel concessions to staff.

The battle began in October 2009 when BA announced plans to cut 1,700 full-time cabin crew jobs and freeze pay. There were 22 days of strikes in total last spring, costing the airline an estimated $150 million in losses.

BA had already reached an accord with its pilots in March giving them a 4 percent pay award in the first year.

Meanwhile, Virgin pilots are to vote on strike action in a poll next week after talks about a new pay deal broke down.

Virgin’s pay rise offer of 4% this year and a further 3% next year and in 2013 was deemed insufficient as pilots haven’t had pay rise since 2008 and U.K. inflation is forecast to breach 5 percent, the British Airline Pilots Association announced today.

Virgin pilots earn between £58,000 and £110,000 depending on experience.