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1972: Pilots threaten worldwide strike

Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers face flight delays and cancellations after pilots threatened to strike over hijack fears.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) has called a 24-hour stoppage and accused governments of failing to take action to halt air piracy.

British Air Line Pilots Association spokesman (BALPA), Gordon Hurley, said hijacking was on the increase, and striking was the "only effective way of dealing with it".

"Until governments take the matter seriously and make airports secure and stop this hijacking, this menace, this piracy, this is the only alternative we have," he said.

Three basic demands

BALPA's vice chairman, Jack Linstead, said he was issuing a strike notice reluctantly, but added that it was a reflection of the pilots' strength of feeling on the issue.

The strike ballot had returned "a very clear mandate to take industrial action," he said, adding that there was still time for the dispute to be resolved.

IFALPA wants governments across the world to fulfil three basic demands.

These are: to increase international airport security; to adopt the International Civil Aviation Organisation's convention against air hijacking; and to speed up the pace of ratification of other anti-hijacking conventions.

In Context
The 24-hour strike went ahead at 0600BST on 19 June, affecting civil air travel all around the world.

Although the British pilots' association withdrew its official support for the stoppage, after reassurances from the government, many pilots chose to remain at home anyway. British European Airways reported about a third of its flights had been cancelled.

As the strike took effect, IFALPA said it believed the action had "given a new impetus and a new direction" to solving the problem of hijacking.

The aviation industry later introduced metal detectors to identify any weapons carried onto aircraft.

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