British Airways (BA) has announced that it will suspend a further 10,300 short-haul flights by the end of October.
That airlinehardest hit by post-pandemic staffing shortages that have caused widespread disruption to passengers this year, made the announcement just a day after another wave of cancellations was revealed to make schedules more robust.
BA told Sky News the cancellations it announced to passengers on Wednesday from August to October were part of a focus on protecting popular holiday flights.
It suggested that destinations with weak bookings would most likely see a consolidation in flight frequency.
However, even worse problems could lie ahead for BA customers using Heathrow.
BA announced the latest cuts less than 24 hours before the unions representing 700 of its airport check-in and ground-handling workers – almost half of its customer-facing team there – were due to announce strike dates in a dispute over pay.
It was widely expected that the strikes would coincide with the start of the summer holiday rush once schools across England open for the end of the school year.
However, union sources revealed late Wednesday night that “detailed discussions” had taken place with the airline, casting doubt on the prospect of announcing the strike dates.
The airline cannot rule out cutting flights even further in the event of strikes.
Until close of business on Friday, when a government amnesty expires, it can do so without risk of penalty including loss of takeoff and landing slots.
The move aims to give passengers peace of mind about their flights and prevent a repeat of scenes witnessed over Easter and the Platinum Jubilee holiday, when airports and airlines were unable to cope with the high demand.
BA said: “The Government recently decided to grant window relief to the whole industry to minimize potential disruption this summer.
“While taking further action is not what we wanted to be, it is the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues.
“This new flexibility means we can further reduce our flight schedule and consolidate some of our quieter services so we can protect as many of our leisure flights as possible.
“While most of our flights are unaffected and the majority of customers will get away with it as planned, we do not underestimate the impact this will have and are doing everything we can to get their travel plans back on track.
“We will be in touch with you to apologize and offer rebooking options for new flights with us or another airline, or issue a full refund, as soon as possible.”
British Airways cancels another 10,300 flights by the end of October | UK News
Source link British Airways cancels another 10,300 flights by the end of October | UK News