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British Airways to move court against strike

London, May 15:

British Airways will go to the High Court in an attempt to block a series of planned strikes by its cabin crew, the airline says.

Four five-day walkouts, the first starting May 17 at Heathrow, have been called by cabin crew, and the airline will seek an injunction from the court on the same day, British Airways announced Friday night.

British Airways may lose over 100 million pounds if the strikes go ahead.

The airline, however, has said it has uncovered irregularities which could give it grounds to challenge the strike and prevent flight schedules being hit at a busy time of the year.

This would be the second time British Airways has used the court to prevent a strike. It had obtained an injunction stopping a 12-day walkout during the Christmas holiday period in 2009.

"We make no apology for looking at every option possible to protect our customers and our company from this completely unjustified strike and the union's cynical attempts to destroy our airline," the Telegraph quoted the airline as saying in a statement Friday night.

Earlier, the crew had taken a ballot to decide on the strike. However, according to the airline, a trade union is legally obliged to give a detailed breakdown of the ballot result, for a strike to be considered legal.

"We wrote to the general secretaries of the union yesterday asking them to explain to us how they discharged this obligation and, based on their replies, we believe that they failed to comply with the legal requirement," British Airways said.

A strike in March 2010 cost British Airways 40 million pounds and the six-day shutdown because of ash from the Icelandic volcano lost the airline a further 100 million pounds.