EasyJet denies reports that UK pilots plan to strike next month

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EasyJet has denied reports that its UK pilots are planning to strike next month raising fears of delays and cancellations over the half-term holidays.

"No industrial action is currently planned," the budget carrier said in a statement provided to IBTimes UK.

However, it did admit that the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) had "informed us that they are balloting members" about industrial action, adding that they "continue to work together as we are both committed to finding a resolution to the issues raised".

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"We still hope to reach a mutually agreeable solution," it added.

Around 2,000 pilots are reportedly being balloted for industrial action because of complaints about rising levels of fatigue which risk "serious health and safety concerns".

"The core issue of the dispute was that fatigue had risen year on year, to levels pilots and Balpa find unacceptable," according to a letter to pilots from the union that was leaked to The Telegraph.

The ballot on the action will close at the end of September 2016 and if pilots do vote to strike, it is thought industrial action will take place the following month. However, it is thought that other options are being made available to pilots aside from strike action.

If pilots do decide to walk out, it would be a first for the airline founded by the Greek Cypriot businessman Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 1995.

Unions and EasyJet had been in talks for more than a year, though these broke down in August and prompted the current ballot.

Any strikes would follow those by pilots on Air France earlier this year during the Euro 2016 football tournament.

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At the time, the pilots' union Syndicat des Pilotes d'Air France (Spaf) was taking action because of planned pay cuts and changes to working conditions. Around the same time, French air traffic controllers also walked out for the 50th time since 2009.

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