BALPA, a Union representing Virgin Atlantic pilots, has said there is a significant risk of a strike.
Concerns for the welfare of pilots flying Virgin Atlantic aircraft have been outlined, with wellbeing and fatigue front and centre.
The well-being of those within the aviation industry has always been paramount. Still, the focus increased tenfold following the global pandemic when the workforce shrunk considerably, and more pressure was put on existing workers.
As a result of the additional pressures, staff have been forced to take overtime, face more demanding shifts and have a higher workload. This has become unmanageable for many, whether as high as pilots or airport operations.
BALPA said in a statement that members of the union at Virgin Atlantic had expressed their intent to launch a trade dispute against the U.K based airline following concerns rising internally regarding fatigue. Notably coming about thanks to scheduling arrangements implemented as a direct result of the global pandemic and have yet to be rectified.
Strike action at Virgin Atlantic potentially taking place doesn’t see them be the first and likely not the last viewing that avenue as a last resort to agree better terms.
Across the pond in North America, pilots part of unions have pushed for better contracts, working schedules and more with their employers. Thus far, multiple large leading airlines have agreed on deals and narrowly avoided significant strikes that could’ve halted operations over some of the most essential weekends and weeks of travel in the calendar year.
BBC says a commercial pilot’s maximum flying time for a calendar year is 900 hours. At Virgin Atlantic, it is understood that the figure on average for pilots sits at around 750 hours.
Virgin Atlantic will work with the union and its pilots to resolve the matter. However, the ever-looming strike and its implications on the company remain at the forefront of minds.