Airport strikes More than 100 flights cancelled at Heathrow Airport ahead of

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Last ditch talks to avert British Airways’ first pilot strike for 40 years will continue into next week The spokesperson refuted claims that airlines could be paid compensation. “In addition to this, the suggestion that the salary of our CEO has doubled over the past year is also inaccurate. All managers (including our CEO) received a 2.4pc increase to base salaries last year. In that same year, all participating Heathrow colleagues, which included security officers, benefited from additional payments as a result of a multi-year, company-wide savings and performance programme,” the Heathrow spokesperson said. More than 100 flights have been cancelled at Heathrow Airport next week, as holidaymakers brace themselves for the first of a wave of strikes set to scupper their travel plans.Security guards, firefighters and engineers are among those staging crippling walkouts on Monday and Tuesday at the height of the summer getaway period.The strikes, orchestrated by the UK’s largest union Unite, are expected to hit almost 90,000 passengers and lead to the cancellation of around a fifth of flights from the west London airport.Heathrow Airport say they have cancelled 172 flights so far and are advising passengers to arrive two or three hours before their flight’s depart time to avoid lengthy queues at security.Further disruption is expected at Gatwick Airport on August 10 and 11, when security workers will walk out for 48 hours in a dispute over “poverty pay” rates.Meanwhile last ditch talks to avert British Airways’ first pilot strike for 40 years will continue into next week.Negotiations between pilots union the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) and the airline failed to yield an agreement today, with representatives from both sides last night tight-lipped on proceedings.  The talks follow a failed attempt by BA earlier this week to seek a legal injunction to block industrial action by pilots.   The dispute arose from anger over pay disparities between airport workers doing the same job and the “massive pay package” of the airport’s CEO John Holland-Kaye.Unite claim Mr Holland-Kaye earns in two days what some of the lowest paid Heathrow security guards earn in a year.It says he received a 103.2 per cent pay increase last year, with his basic remuneration package rising from £2.097 million in 2017 to £4.2 million in 2018.The union warned Heathrow that if the pay dispute was not settled then they faced paying out millions of pounds in compensation to airlines for cancelled flights.Unite, which could stage two further strikes on August 23 and 24, say airlines could receive a total of £4.6m in compensation if their passengers are unable to board flights.  It previously suspended a two-day strike planned for July 26 and 27 to consult with it’s members and hold a vote on the deal.Now the vote has taken place, last-ditch talks to avert planned strikes on Monday and Tuesday will begin.Wayne King, Unite’s regional coordinating officer, said: “All the indications are pointing to an overwhelming rejection by our members of the revised offer which, in reality, offers little more than the £3.75 extra a day that the original offer did for many workers. Last ditch talks to avert British Airways’ first pilot strike for 40 years will continue into next weekCredit: Steve Parsons/PA “If members do reject the pay offer and Heathrow bosses dig their heels in, then there is a risk the airport is seen to prefer paying millions in compensation to airlines and needlessly causing misery for the travelling public, instead of sorting the dispute by going the extra mile and giving its workforce a decent pay rise.”A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that Unite has rejected the latest pay offer and will continue to seek an agreement at ACAS. Unite is proceeding with its unnecessary strike action on 5th and 6th August and we regret that passengers looking to get away on well-earned breaks will be impacted by this.“We have activated contingency plans which will keep the airport open and safe on both strike days. We expect security queue times to be slightly longer than normal and advise passengers to check our website for detailed information on how to prepare for their flights and when to arrive at the airport.  “As part of our plans, we are working with airlines to proactively consolidate flights and rebook passengers onto alternative services in advance. We also advise passengers to contact their airlines for the latest information, as well as follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts for further updates.” Unite today rejected a revised pay offer for Heathrow’s frontline workers in a ballot involving 4,000 of its members.

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