London: British transport secretary, Andrew Adonis, has urged cabin crew at British Airways to call off their planned strikes this month, arguing such a course of action would threaten the company's very existence. Crew members of the Unite union are due to strike work on seven days this month after breakdown of talks between the airline and the union.
Asked by the BBC, if he believed the strike jeopardised the future of British Airways, Adonis said: "Yes I do ... The stakes are incredibly high in this strike."
"It is not only the damage it is going to do to passengers and the inconvenience it is going to cause, which is quite disproportionate to the issues at stake, but also the threat it poses to the future of one of our great companies."
The planned strike would "threaten the very existence of British Airways," he said.
The strike schedule, as drawn up by the union, will see its members walk off work for three days from 20 March and for four days from 27 March. The industrial action coincides with the Easter break beginning on 26 March and threatens to disrupt family getaways.
According to market analysts, the dispute could easily cost the airline around 140 million pounds ($212 million).