Pilots for Luton-based airline EasyJet say they are getting too tired to fly because of their unforgiving rosters.
They have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over concerns about staff fatigue.
EasyJet, which flies out of Luton and Stansted airports, is in talks with union bosses to find a resolution and insists no strike action is currently planned.
Matthew Hudson reports.
Pilots at Luton-based airline EasyJet have voted to take industrial action in a dispute over fatigue.
However, their union, Balpa, has announced that talks are planned to try to resolve the row following a last-minute offer from the company.
General Secretary Brian Strutton said 96% of members at the airline voted for some form of industrial action on a turnout of 88%.
Balpa said it would issue further information tomorrow after considering the offer from EasyJet.
"For clarity that means there are no plans for pilots taking industrial action in EasyJet at this stage."
The Luton-based airline easyJet has announced a steep rise in profits.
In the year to the end of September 2014, the airline made pre-tax profits of £581 million, up by 21.5% on the previous year. Revenue was up 6% to £4.5 billion.
“easyJet has continued to execute its strategy, delivering another strong performance and enabling easyJet to deliver record profits for the fourth year in a row. easyJet has opened up clear blue sky between us and our competitors"
easyJet has a fleet of 200 aircraft and employs 8,000 people. In the Anglia region, it operates from Luton, Stansted and Southend airports.
Passengers on an EasyJet plane from Southend Airport to Malaga were asked to volunteer to get off because it was too heavy, it has been claimed.
The captain of the flight said wind conditions meant the weight of the 156-passenger Airbus 319 made it dangerous to take off. Crew members asked for volunteers while the aircraft sat on the tarmac for more than an hour last week. 10 people were offered £250 compensation each.
An EasyJet spokesman said: "EasyJet can confirm that some passengers on a recent flight from London Southend to Malaga were asked to take a later flight as weather conditions at Southend meant the aircraft would be too heavy to take off with all onboard.
"Like all airlines, we calculate weight using high average estimates for males and females, along with 20kg baggage. In line with EU rules, the passengers who did not travel on the flight were offered £250 compensation and a transfer on to an alternative flight to Malaga."
A Luton-based airline is set to become the first to use new technology designed to help aircraft detect volcanic ash.
The AVOID system is a radar for ash and aims to prevent a repeat of the Icelandic volcanic ash-cloud crisis of spring 2010.
The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull led to days of no flights into and out of the UK in April and May 2010, with the whole of Europe affected.
The new system has been created by Norway's Nicarnica Aviation with the support of Luton-based easyJet.
It uses infra-red technology fitted to aircraft to supply images to pilots and an airline's operations control centre.
It will enable pilots to see an ash cloud up to 60 miles ahead of the aircraft and at altitudes between 5,000ft and 50,000ft.
The technology was tested by European planemaker Airbus last November. It will now go into commercial production.
Today, easyJet's engineering director Ian Davies said that move was "a tangible and significant step forward in bringing this technology from conception into reality".
He added: "easyJet has supported the development of this innovative technology since the 2010 volcanic eruption which brought aviation to a halt in Europe. We look forward to being the first airline to fit this technology on our aircraft."
Luton based airline easyJet has posted smaller-than-expected winter losses as the carrier benefited from flying a record number of business passengers.
The airline reported a total of 27.6 million passengers in the six months to the end of March, a rise of 4%.
The business, which has courted more lucrative business customers through seat allocation and priority boarding, said it flew a record 12 million business passengers in the year to March.
Senior executives say they've managed to cut costs, boost margins and increase capacity.
A new invention no heavier than a bag of sugar could help prevent a repeat of the travel chaos caused at our region's airports by the 2010 volcanic ash cloud.
Luton based airline easyJet have been trialling the new technology called Avoid, or airborne volcanic object identifier and detector.
It should enable pilots to spot ash clouds up to 60 miles away.
A security scare which saw an easyJet aircraft make an unscheduled landing at Stansted Airport appears to have been a false alarm.
The airline says it received information from the British authorities about a passenger aboard the flight from Hamburg to Luton which caused it to be diverted.
It would appear that when Essex Police boarded and searched the aircraft the person wasn't there.
The airline says the Airbus involved in the alert will take on fuel at Stansted before flying on to Luton.
The Luton based airline easyJet is on the lookout for more engineering apprenctices.
The UK's second largest airline is hold an opening evening for it's second apprenticeship programme. More than 600 people applied to the first one with ten successful.
The opening evening is taking place between 5pm-7pm on Monday 8th July at the easyJet Hangar at Luton airport.
Luton-based Easyjet will try to face down a revolt by founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ianonnou over the purchase of new planes.Read the full story ›