Virgin Pilots Seek `Last Ditch' Talks With Airline Over Time-Off Allowance

The British Airline Pilots’ Association has called on Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. to hold “last ditch” talks on Aug. 24 to avoid a confrontation over time off.

Virgin pilots are being denied an agreed entitlement to a minimum number of rostered days off a year, BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said in an e-mailed statement today.

“BALPA always does what it can to assist airlines through downturns, as many airlines will testify, and we did this with Virgin during these past difficult years,” McAuslan said. “To now find that the company is breaching an agreement and denying many pilots their entitlement to the equivalent of a weekend off is a real slap in the face and one which we cannot accept.”

The airline holds “a regular monthly meeting with our pilots, and the next one is on Tuesday,” Virgin spokesman Greg Dawson said today in a telephone interview. “We have had no notification of any ballot.”

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