British Airways will heap even more misery on holidaymakers this summer as the airline announced it will cancel a further 10,300 flights through the end of October. The new tranche of cancellations is in addition to the thousands of flights that have already been axed by the embattled and disruption-prone airline.
The latest wave of cancellations will only impact short-haul services and chief executive Sean Doyle says the intention is to consolidate quieter services on routes with multiple daily flights.
British Airways has now slashed its planned summer schedule by 13 per cent after struggling to recruit enough cabin crew and ground staff to actually make the schedule a reality. The airline has promised to rebook and reroute affected passengers on alternative airlines if a BA flight is unavailable.
The list of affected flights may not be finalised until Friday which is the deadline given by the government for a so-called ‘slot amnesty’. At congested airports like Heathrow, airlines operate flights within slots which give takeoff and landing rights.
Slots are expensive and highly sought after and an airline runs the risk of losing a slot if they don’t use it. But in order to reduce the risk of an airline trying to operate flights they have no chance of actually being able to run, the UK government has allowed carriers to temporary give up some slots until the end of the summer season.
Doyle told staffers on Wednesday that he hoped other airlines would draw down their schedules at Heathrow in order to reduce the pressure on the airport.
In the coming days, British Airways will consolidate the vast majority of its Heathrow flights out of Terminal 5 in a move that is designed to concentrate staff in the same building in order to better manage resources.
British Airways still faces the threat of highly disruptive strike action by hundreds of check-in staff and Doyle has warned that the airline faces a “summer of discontent”.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.