Category Archives: BALPA

BALPA and Norse Atlantic Airways announce partnership to bring hundreds of jobs to the UK

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) and Norse Atlantic Airways (Norse), the new intercontinental airline, have entered into a new agreement that will deliver hundreds of jobs in the UK.

The new airline plans to commence affordable flights between Europe and North America in 2022, with a fleet of more environmentally friendly Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

BALPA’s National Officer Terry Brandon, said:

“This is a glimmer of hope for the struggling UK aviation industry that is much needed. We are pleased to welcome Norse Atlantic to London and the new jobs they will deliver at this critical time.

“Our negotiating team has been incredibly impressed with the company’s business plan as it will provide sustainable long-term careers for our members on its transatlantic route network. This collective agreement will facilitate a fruitful relationship between BALPA and Norse to ensure that Norse is a great place to work.

“It is a refreshing change to have an employer knocking on our door asking for an agreement, rather than us chasing the employer. Norse has proven to be a different breed; they have recognition of unions in their DNA. Consultations and dialogue are just natural, and we can really be a contributor to the business when the employer brings us in like Norse has done”.

“With some government restrictions now being lifted, we hope the newest member of the BALPA family flourishes, and our new agreement with Norse provides opportunities for hundreds of our members.”

Norse Atlantic´s CEO Bjorn Tore Larsen said:

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with BALPA to offer pilots the opportunity to return to the cockpit and create hundreds of new jobs in the UK, especially following a tough time for the entire aviation industry.

“The passion and professionalism demonstrated by the BALPA team are exactly what we are looking for in Norse as we build a team Norse culture throughout the entire airline which will be our lasting competitive advantage.”

Ex-Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner LN-LNO (msn 38779) is the first aircraft to be repainted for the new airline:

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) demands action from the UK government

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) issued this statement:

BALPA urges Government to act now as research shows devastating effect on UK airlines and airports

UK aviation industry is the ‘hardest hit’ in Europe by restrictions on international travel, an analysis of official European air traffic data for June 2021 by The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has revealed.

The analysis of data from European air traffic agency ‘Eurocontrol’  has been published by BALPA – the trade union for British pilots – ahead of a national Travel Day of Action on Wednesday (June 23).

The number of flights into and out of the UK has collapsed by three-quarters (73%) in the latest official data, compared to 2019. The data shows that Gatwick and Manchester airports are the worse affected in Europe, with Heathrow and Stansted close behind.

According to world trade body the International Air Transport Association, 860,000 jobs in UK aviation travel and tourism have been lost or are on furlough and are at risk of being lost.

The Government claims to have given £7bn in support to UK aviation but most of this is either standard furlough payments or loans which the industry will struggle to pay back with virtually no income. By contrast, European and US Governments have given direct financial support to their airlines which the UK Government promised but has failed to deliver.

Brian Strutton, BALPA Acting General Secretary responded to the release of these latest statistics:

“It’s official. The UK aviation industry is the hardest hit in Europe, caused by the UK Governments ludicrously cautious restrictions on international travel. Hapless Ministers give all the appearance of deliberately attacking aviation and tormenting the public with their mixed messages over summer holidays. BALPA is demanding that the UK Government gets its act together and opens the US routes and European holiday travel destinations that it has blocked with no published evidence at all.

“If the country is going to build back better from the pandemic and build new international links with partners for trade and travel, we are going to need a thriving aviation industry. There is no time to hide behind task forces and reviews. This week pilots will be calling on the Government to act now to save jobs by taking a transparent, evidence-based approach to travel restrictions, extending the furlough scheme and helping airlines and airports weather this storm through direct financial support.”

BALPA pilots will join colleagues from across the aviation and travel industry to take their message to MPs in Westminster, and MSPs in Holyrood, as part of the nationwide Travel Day of Action on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Pilots will also join action at Heathrow, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester airports.

Pilots are calling for the UK Government to:

  • Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a transparent traffic-light system, by expanding the Green list in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.
  • Bring forward a package of tailored financial support, including extension of furlough support, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.


United Kingdom -73%
Germany -62%
Italy -61%
Netherlands -60%
Spain -58%
Greece -55%
France -53%
Portugal -52%
Turkey -50%
Norway -48%


London Gatwick -92%
Manchester -83%
Dublin -80%
Copenhagen Kastrup -78%
Dusseldorf -78%
Munich -77%
Stockholm Arlanda -76%
Zurich -73%
Helsinki Vantaa -73%
Rome Fiumicino -72%
Oslo Gardemoen -70%
Brussels -70%
London Heathrow -69%
London Stansted -68%
Paris Orly -67%
Vienna -67%
Geneva -63%
Amsterdam -63%
Frankfurt -63%
Barcelona -55%


Brussels Airlines -97%
Norwegian Air Shuttle -92%
Aer Lingus -91%
easyJet -88%
SWISS -84%
British Airways -84%
Finnair -81%
Eurowings -80%
SAS -79%
TUI Group -78%

Source for all tables – Eurocontrol report “COVID 19 Impact on European Aviation” 10 June 2021.