British Airways is removing a further 10,300 short-haul flights from the start of August until the end of October, to build resilience into its schedules amidst ongoing disruption across the industry.
The latest cuts come just days after reports BA was trimming 1,000 flights to destinations this summer across Greece, Spain and Portugal from its London hubs. Airlines including easyJet and Lufthansa Group airlines have also been removing flights in light of ongoing staff shortages at airlines, airports and air traffic control.
Long-haul flights are unaffected by the latest round of BA adjustments. In total, BA has now altered 13% of its summer schedule.
The British flag carrier said it decided to trim schedules after the government said it would ease slot rules – where airlines have to use valuable take-off and landing slots at airports or face giving them up.
“The whole aviation industry continues to face into significant challenges and we’re completely focussed on building resilience into our operation to give customers the certainty they deserve,” the carrier said in an emailed statement on July 7, 2022.
“While taking further action is not where we wanted to be, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues.”
BA said the new slot flexibility means it can consolidate some of its less busy services in order to protect holiday flights.
“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,” BA said, saying it was getting in touch with passengers about rebooking or refunds.
The carrier is also facing the threat of strikes at London Heathrow (LHR), its main hub. Plane refuelers at the airport have voted to strike while check-in staff represented by two unions have also voted in favor of walkouts in a row over reversing pandemic pay cuts.