EasyJet pilots vote to strike over fatigue

EasyJet carries the most passengers from Scottish airports. Picture: Press Association

EasyJet carries the most passengers from Scottish airports. Picture: Press Association

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Pilots at Scotland's biggest airline today voted overwhelmingly to strike over fatigue.

A walkout by members of the British Airline Pilots Association would cause major disruption to flights at Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

General secretary Brian Strutton, said: “Balpa members in EasyJet have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action in a dispute over pilot fatigue.

"In a ballot which closed today, 96 per cent voted for some form of industrial action on a turnout of 88 per cent.

"Balpa has now received a last-minute offer from EasyJet to resolve the dispute and we will consider this carefully in meetings tomorrow before taking any further decisions.

"For clarity, that means there are no plans for pilots taking industrial action in EasyJet at this stage.

"We will issue further information tomorrow.”

An EasyJet spokeswoman said: "We are committed to working with Balpa to find a resolution to the issues raised and we hope to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

"EasyJet can reassure its passengers that no industrial action is currently planned by its UK pilots.”

The airline's first route was between Luton and Glasgow in 1995 and it yesterday celebrated carrying 40 million passengers at Edinburgh Airport alone, where it has 36 routes.

In 2013, Balpa denounced the airline for a new "take-it-or-leave-it” pilots' contract, which it claimed involved a zero-hours contract that left young pilots taking home less than McDonald's workers.

It said the airline's longer-serving pilots had been "outraged at the treatment of their new colleagues".