MIAMI – British Airways’ (BA) cargo has requested customers to unitize their freight if possible to avoid delays due to congestion at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The decision comes after the British International Freight Association (BIFA) approached BA as its staff had reported some delays in its cargo handling operations.

As response, BA’s Martin Lyall said unitizing freight on aircraft was more convenient for many customers as they would be able to break the units down at their own facilities. However, the airline also offered both a unitized and loose proposition as this process does not work for everyone.

With these actions, BA seeks to ease congestion and allow a faster freight releasing. On this, Lyall added that the team was reviewing all other potential measures to increase flow and ultimately improve the service. As a result, they are planning to make a daily operational approach instead of a weekly one.

British Airways World Cargo 747-8UF-SCD leased from Global Supply Systems. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

Cargo Operations Halt Due to Labor Strike


While the reduction of delays is “highly important” for BA Cargo, there are also union discussions on pay and condition changes. Regarding these, BA cargo workers voted 98% in favor of strike action. This would take place over nine days starting on Christmas day and ending on January 2, according to aircargonews.net.

As supporting arguments, the cargo news outlet states the union blamed the “continued intransigence of management” for not coming to an agreement on payment. Specifically, the union’s Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett said the airline failed to make a fair offer to staff; therefore, the strike would be a last-resort action.

Needless to say, the strike would mean more delays in BA Cargo operations, adding insult to injury for its customers.


Featured photo: Boeing 747-87UF-SCD, British Airways World Cargo (Global Supply Systems) AN2017818. photo: Wiki Commons.