British Airways cancels 11% of flights in summer holiday peak

Business

British Airways (BA) has moved again to build greater resilience in its flying schedules by cancelling additional flights during the key summer holiday season.

The airline, one of the worst affected by post-pandemic staff shortages this year, said it was taking further “pre-emptive” action to prevent disruption for passengers.

It follows a torrid reopening of the skies for most airports and airlines who have struggled to meet high demand for international travel.

BA said on Tuesday it would reduce its April-October schedule by 11%.

It had reported in May that 10% of flights would go over the period – equal to 8,000 round trips.

“As the entire aviation industry continues to face into the most challenging period in its history, regrettably it has become necessary to make some further reductions,” the airline said.

“We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund,” the statement concluded.

More on Travel Chaos

UK airports and airlines are not alone in struggling to meet demand for summer travel as the disruption is being mirrored across Europe and made worse, for UK travellers, by staff shortages at destination airports.

Heathrow and Gatwick have enacted capacity limits in a bid to ensure they can cope with passenger volumes.

Peak travel periods, such as Easter and weekends, have witnessed the worst problems to date and airlines were told by the government last week that they should run “realistic” summer schedules to avoid repeats of the chaos.

There is a temporary amnesty in place to allow airlines the freedom to adjust flight schedules without the penalty of losing landing slots. The deadline for making the cuts ends later this week.

BA, along with easyJet, have cancelled the most services by UK airlines but those flights have mostly been on high frequency routes – those with more than one daily flight.

The Telegraph newspaper reported late on Monday that BA was cancelling more than 650 flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports to destinations including holiday spots in Spain, Portugal and Greece, affecting up to 105,000 travellers.

BA did not comment directly on the Telegraph report.

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