“Fears are mounting of chaos over the busy Christmas holiday period if BA staff choose to go on strike.” – Sky News, October 28, 2009

British Airways just announced doubling the service from London to Entebbe, adding already to its impressive schedule of 14 flights weekly between Heathrow and East Africa.

All for nuts?

The heaviest season in East Africa is the Christmas season, and today started the official cooling off period after the union of flight attendants and assorted other airline workers announced it was going “to a ballot” recommending a Christmas strike.

The issue is a continuing reduction in flight staff. BA’s 747s into East Africa, for example, now carry 14 flight attendants. The legal limit is 12 by British law, and BA announced this week it would reduce to 13.

This would allow a staff reduction of about 3700 staff across all their routes, or about a 10% reduction.

BA like all the world’s airlines is in a financial crisis. The CEO calls it a “fight for survival” and has employed draconian American techniques like eliminating food on short-haul flights, giving BA the questionable distinction of being the first non-American airline to do so.