ABTA has claimed British Airways’ reputation has not been affected following the on-going dispute with Unite. “Most of the trade are supportive of BA, but don’t want their customers to be affected,” ABTA’s Frances Tuke told Travel Daily. “Agents will rebook their customers, although many have decided to switch sell while BA goes through this very difficult period,” she added. Associations also highlighted there were problems for BA that were out of its hands. “It is a very regrettable situation of affairs. The industry is suffering from economic uncertainty and in Europe we have to deal with the constant threat of volcanic ash. It is difficult time when so many livelihoods are jeopardised that a dispute should occur,” ETOA Executive Director Tom Jenkins told Travel Daily. Meanwhile in a statement released today, BA insisted it had not been “intransigent or refused to negotiate” and had not suspended anyone for going on strike. Over Unite’s concerns for a reduction in crew members, BA has said it will “reinstate crew members on some flights by employing an additional 184 staff”. Another Unite concern has been met by BA, which said existing staff will not share the same terms and conditions of contract as new crew. Unite then rejected this offer on the grounds that staff travel perks have been dropped and several staff suspensions. “We made it clear to cabin crew by individual letter in January, before the strike ballot began, that if they took part in a strike they would lose their staff travel permanently. The withdrawal of staff travel from crew who went on strike in March (around 25%) was not a post-facto ‘punishment'”, said BA. Under the new deal BA said it would reinstate staff travel if other parts of the deal are met and financial cuts are made. In regards to pay, BA has said its “current offer on basic pay provides for a freeze in 2010/11, followed by rises matching inflation in each of the next two years. At the union’s request, we changed the pay deal from a four-year to a three-year arrangement and removed caps on the increases”. In each of the three years 75% of crew could receive an incremental pay rise between 2-7% and BA cabin crew remain the best-paid in the industry.