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BA rents Qatar Airways jets for use during cabin crew strike

LONDON (AP) — British Airways has leased nine jets and crews from a Middle Eastern airline so it can continue running services during a cabin crew strike.

Hundreds of BA staff based at London’s Heathrow Airport are due to walk out Saturday in a dispute over pay.

BA says it plans to operate “99.5 percent” of its schedule during the 16-day strike. It says Qatar Airways, a partner in the Oneworld alliance, will be “operating a small number of short-haul flights on our behalf.”

The strike involves staff hired since 2010, who earn less than their predecessors. Union Unite has accused BA of punishing staff for earlier strikes, and urged it to end “corporate bullying” and resolve the dispute.

BA said the union should put the airline’s pay offer to its members.

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