British Airways pilots have begun a two-day strike over pay, the first time they have taken industrial action.

Dozens of flights have been cancelled, disrupting the plans of tens of thousands of travellers.

The British Airline Pilots Association says BA should share more of its 2 billion euro profits with its pilots.

British Airways says its offer is fair and has apologised to its customers.

Simon Calder, Travel Editor of The Independent, told Euronews the “very bad-tempered” dispute is affecting 200,000 passengers.

He said the reputational damage to British Airways was “unquantifiable” but the airline does not want to back down in case it triggered demands from other staff.

“It’s a difficult situation for everyone and caught in the middle are those 200,000 passengers,” Calder said.

BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said the pilots were willing to compromise but BA was not prepared to “budge”.

“We hope we can find a way of resolving this dispute,” he told BBC radio. “We’ve been trying very hard to do so for the best part of nine months now but here we are now sadly having to take industrial action.”