British Airways will not be grounded if the first of three five-day cabin crew strikes goes ahead on Monday, chief executive Willie Walsh said on Sunday.

Walsh said he was hopeful a deal with the Unite union could be reached on Sunday in a long-running dispute over the airline's cost-cutting drive but said the company had contingency plans in place to keep services running.

We have resolved all of the substantive issues, Walsh told BBC television. I think we can work through it.

BA will survive and we will be stronger because we are tackling the core issues. We will not allow Unite, the union, to ground BA.

Talks between the union and BA were broken up on Saturday when protestors gatecrashed negotiations at the premises of the industrial dispute mediator ACAS in London.

(Reporting by Matt Falloon; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)