leaders will fly to the United States today for talks on airline
security amid continued concern about the number of flights being
cancelled on the strength of intelligence information.
The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), which has called
on the Government to check out information from the US which was
leading to so many flight cancellations, said it had a number of
outstanding issues to discuss with the American airline
pilots’ association. General secretary Jim McAuslan said
talks would be held on the way intelligence was gathered and how it
"Safety and security is our priority. Whenever there is a
specific, credible threat to a flight, it is quite right that the
flight is cancelled. But pilots around the world, analytical
because of the nature of their job, continue to ask questions and
these questions have to be answered," he said.
On Monday, British Airways cancelled another international
flight over security fears. The scrapped flight was BA263 which
would normally have left Heathrow for the Saudi Arabian capital of
Riyadh at 1:35pm. The grounding followed the cancellation Sunday of
BA223 – one of three London to Washington DC flights that BA
It was the fifth time since the beginning of the year that this
particular London-Washington service had been cancelled. Passengers
on this route have also been subject to long delays on some other
days. The cancellations have followed fears raised by United States
intelligence of terror attacks on transatlantic flights and plans
to install armed air marshals “where necessary”.
More than a dozen BA, Aeromexico and Air France flights to the
USA have been cancelled or delayed since New Year’s Eve
because of security fears.