Leaders from British Airways and the Unite union will meet on Saturday to discuss ways to avoid the first of three five-day cabin crew strikes due to start on Monday, industrial dispute mediator ACAS said.
Talks between BA chief executive Willie Walsh and Unite chiefs in London will focus on a long-standing dispute over pay and conditions which erupted during the airline's cost-cutting drive.
"We anticipate they will start around 12 noon (1100 GMT) today," an ACAS spokeswoman said.
ACAS said it anticipated further details of the progress of talks to emerge over the weekend.
On Friday, BA reported its biggest annual loss since privatisation in 1987 due to the recession, bad weather and industrial disputes.
Volcanic ash, drifting from Iceland, has also caused widespread disruption to flights over the last few weeks.
The airline is trying to get a deal with Unite to save 62.5 million pounds ($89.81 million) a year. The union says an agreement had been reached but the removal of travel perks for striking staff had created a new stumbling block.
The cabin crew won an appeal on Thursday against a court injunction brought in this week to stop the planned walkouts.
The dispute has already resulted in seven days of strikes in March which cost the airline 45 million pounds.
ReutersLast Mod: 22 Mayıs 2010, 13:18