The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) on Monday commenced a 48-hour strike in a dispute overpay.
Balpa said almost all British Airways flights, totalling hundreds, were cancelled and an estimated 195,000 customers would be affected.

The association said 8.50 a.m. scheduled flights was cancelled, and passengers would be offered a refund or a later flight.

The strike has been labelled one of the biggest in the airlines history.

Balpa added that a one-day strike would cost the airline about 40 million pounds (49 million dollars).

In July, the pilots declined an offer by British Airways of an 11.5-per-cent pay rise over three years.

However, British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz urged Balpa to continue talks to end the strike.

The discussions must continue, they must be unconditional, he told the BBC.

The management of the airline said in a statement on its website we understand the frustration and disruption Balpas strike action has caused our customers.

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After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.
Londons Heathrow airport will be worst affected as it is British Airways busiest hub.
Balpas general secretary Brian Strutton, said British Airways has to wake up.

Pilots had to accept significant pay cuts during difficult times, and now that the airline was making money, it should give something back to its pilots.

It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute.

He announced that a second strike is planned for September 27.