Thousands of holidaymakers face travel disruption in the summer peak due to a strike threat by easyJet cabin crew in a row over pay.
Staff are planning to walk out over pay after talks between the unions and the budget airline broke down following months of negotiations.
The pay dispute involves more than 2,000 cabin crew who are threatening to stage a walkout.
Easyjet has said it was confident that its summer flight schedule will operate as usual and is reassuring passengers “that there is no industrial action currently planned by its UK cabin crew”.
However, Unite is expected to announce its intention to ballot for strike action as early as today.
A Unite spokesman told City A.M. preparations were being made to give easyJet the seven days notice required, but there was still the opportunity to return to the table for talks to continue.
EasJet said it will go ahead with a pay award to staff of a 4.1% rise and 5.1% for cabin managers over the next two years, “on top of an already market-leading set of pay and conditions in the UK”, despite it being rejected by union members.
“We believe it is right to make the award now since cabin crew, the majority of which are not union members, have been waiting for a conclusion to the pay discussions for a number of months,” the airline said.
“EasyJet is disappointed that in a recent Unite pay ballot members voted to reject the offer, however we note that the majority of easyJet’s cabin crew are not members of Unite and we estimate that only one in five of easyJet’s UK cabin crew voted against the offer.”
The low-cost carrier said the pay deal is well above both inflation and pay increases for staff at British Airways and Thomas Cook.
Unite regional officer, Kevin Hall, said: “We would urge easyJet to drop its high-handed approach and enter back into talks.
“Cabin crew have worked hard to make easyJet a success, enabling the company to record pre-tax profits in excess of half a billion.
“At the same time director’s pay has soared by over 18% while the chief executive, Carolyn McCall, has seen her pay rise to more than £6 million, over 240 times more than the average cabin crew member.
“All our members are asking for is a decent pay rise that reflects the important role they have played in making easyJet a leading airline.”
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