Virgin Atlantic faces potential Christmas strikes.
Virgin Atlantic will draft in extra aircraft in an effort to maintain schedules as it faces the threat of a strike by some pilots over Christmas and new year.
The measure is among contingency plans being drawn up by the carrier which faces a walkout by members of the Professional Pilots Union in a row over recognition.
Virgin Atlantic previously revealed plans to seek a court injunctionto prevent the industrial action from going ahead.
But in a fresh update, the airline disclosed that two aircraft have been secured as potential back-ups should its main fleet be affected with the first walkout planned for December 22.
The carrier is also reviewing contingencies after the PPU announced plans for further strikes stretching into March.
The PPU says it represents more than a third of Virgin Atlantic’s 965 pilots, while the airline says only 16% have voted to strike.
The airline said: “Our priority is to ensure that our customers can complete their travel plans this Christmas, regardless of any proposed industrial action from 16% percent of our pilots who voted for this.
“We’ve been working hard to ensure this remains the case and as a result, we have a number of contingency plans in place.
“We’ve secured additional aircraft that, if required, will provide extra capacity to make sure all of our customers can reach their final destinations.”
The two additional aircraft that have been secured on a ‘wet lease’ basis with external crew.
“These aircraft will only be used if we need to boost our flying programme. Further details of these two aircraft will be available this week, once final details are confirmed,” the carrier added.
News source: Travel Weekly