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Virgin Atlantic pilots plan to strike over Christmas

Virgin Atlantic pilots to strike over Christmas
Credit: Ted S. Warren, AP
A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 passenger airplane arrives following a flight from London to Seattle, Monday, March 27, 2017, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic and the Virgin Group, was onboard to help launch Virgin Atlantic's new daily service between London Heathrow and Seattle, replacing flights currently operated by Virgin partner Delta Air Lines. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) ORG XMIT: OTK

A group of Virgin Atlantic's pilots plan to go on strike this Christmas, though the airline is confident the strike won't put a dent in travelers' holiday plans.

The Professional Pilots Union, which represents about 30 percent of the British carrier's pilots, said they are planning to strike Dec. 22 until Christmas due to a union recognition fight, reports the BBC

“We hope that Virgin acknowledge (sic) the mandate our members have given us, and help avoid strike action by recognizing the PPU and halt the benefits review that is so damaging to our members' long-term security," spokesman Steve Johnson told the Western Telegraph.

Virgin Atlantic confirmed the strike and said it's not expecting any scheduling issues.

“A small number of our pilots have voted for industrial action," the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Our absolute priority is to ensure that all of our customers can continue their journeys as planned this Christmas, and we’re working hard to protect all of their trips."

Other strikes are scheduled for Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 and Jan. 4 to Jan. 7.