BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) has been accused of trying to hire nine "scab" planes to undermine a strike by its cabin crew.
Crew who joined the airline from 2010 onwards are in dispute over pay and 1,400 workers have voted to strike for two weeks from July 1.
The Unite union said the company planned to lease nine Airbus aircraft and cabin crew from Qatar Airways during the strike.
Unite has written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warning that the arrangement will breach European air safety standards.
It says Qatar has "inferior flight duty time limitations and rest requirements."
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "The CAA must refuse British Airways’ application to ‘wet lease’ aircraft from outside the European Union as it is doubtful the airline can demonstrate it is compliant with aviation law covering safety."
He said BA should concentrate on resolving the dispute, rather than spending an estimated £5,000 an hour on hiring aircraft.