British Airways has hinted at the possibility of legal action over a 12-day strike called by cabin crew over the festive season.
Workers will strike from December 22 in a dispute over changes to working practices.
But the airline maintains it will not reverse a reduction of onboard crew numbers.
Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways, said: “Over the next couple of days we’re going to look at whatever steps we can take. We will look at our options to take operational changes, industrial relations options and clearly we will look to our legal options as well, to see if there’s anything we can do to avoid or reduce the impact of this strike.”
BA would normally expect to fly about a million passengers over the strike dates. Union officials say the decision to disrupt travel plans was taken with what they call a “heavy heart”.
Len McCluskey from the Unite union said: “The problem is the impositions that have been placed on them (the crew) by British Airways management. These are impositions that we believe are not necessary.”
As well as reducing cabin crews, BA wants three quarters of them to accept a pay rise of between two and seven percent this year, frozen next year, and for 3,000 staff to switch to part-time.