A survey of Virgin Atlantic pilots undertaken by Balpa (British Airline Pilots’ Association) has revealed that 96% of union members support a ballot on industrial action.
According to the survey, many pilots have “serious concerns” regarding fatigue, as well as scheduling that came into effect during the Covid-19 pandemic and which is due to come to an end later this year.
The results, which have been passed onto Virgin by Balpa, also show over 88% of pilots had seen colleagues make a mistake while on duty.
According to LBC, flying hours for Virgin’s over 800 pilots have increased by 20% under the current roster.
Virgin is understood to be willing to commence negotiations in the next few weeks.
“We continue to honour all agreements and have offered to enter formal pay and lifestyle negotiations with Balpa’s pilot union representatives in the coming weeks, well in advance of the agreement expiring in December,” a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic told the BBC.
The airline said that the current pay and lifestyle agreement was shaped by Balpa representatives within Virgin Atlantic.
“Our members have registered a trade dispute with Virgin Atlantic arising out of serious concerns relating to pilot fatigue and wellbeing around scheduling and rostering arrangements, implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic,” a spokesperson for Balpa said.
An anonymous Virgin pilot told LBC that they were not asking for more money, but rather for a roster which allows for pilots at the airline to work safely.