British Airways on Wednesday, July 6 axed 10,300 short-haul flights through the end of October, with the aviation sector battling staff shortages and booming demand as the pandemic recedes.
“The whole aviation industry continues to face significant challenges and we’re completely focussed on building resilience into our operation to give customers the certainty they deserve,” the airline said in a statement, having already announced hundreds of flight cancellations this summer.
The airline said it would now reduce its April-October schedule by 11%, having said in May the cuts would amount to 10%.
The cancellations are all short-haul with long-haul unaffected in this new round of cancellations which takes the total for the summer to 13%. The carrier is also facing disruption from planned strikes later this month.
British Airways will cut more flights during the crucial summer holiday months, as airlines and airports across Europe struggle to keep up with strong post-pandemic demand from holidaymakers.
“The Government recently decided to give the whole industry slot alleviation to minimise potential disruption this summer. While taking further action is not where we wanted to be, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues.
While most of our flights are unaffected and the majority of customers will get away as planned, we don’t underestimate the impact this will have and we’re doing everything we can to get their travel plans back on track. We’re in touch to apologise and offer rebooking options for new flights with us or another airline as soon as possible or issue a full refund.”British Airways
Britain last month temporarily relaxed rules around airport slots to allow airlines to devise realistic flight schedules and avoid last-minute cancellations in light of staff shortages.
Airlines and airports across Europe are struggling to keep up with strong post-pandemic demand from holidaymakers, causing chaos for travellers and forcing Heathrow and Gatwick to impose their limits on capacity.
The British government called on airlines last week to run “realistic” summer schedules to ensure they avoid a repeat of recent chaotic scenes at airports during the upcoming holiday season.
“This new flexibility means that we can further reduce our schedule and consolidate some of our quieter services so that we can protect as many of our holiday flights as possible,” a BA spokesperson said in an email.