British Airways Cuts Thousands of Flights For  Winter

British Airways Cuts Thousands of Flights For  Winter

British Airways (BA) has announced its plans to cancel more than 10,000 flights to and from Heathrow in the coming months.

The announcement follows the decision by Heathrow airport to continue its passenger cap, introduced in July because of staff shortages.

London's Heathrow airport, which is BA’s main hub, previously announced that it will be extending its daily cap of 100,000 passengers until 29 October 2022. Airports and airlines, which cut jobs during the height of Covid restrictions, have found it difficult to recruit enough staff as demand for travel has returned.

BA stated that the total capacity for its winter schedule until the end of March 2023 will be reduced by 8%, which will affect roughly 10,000 flights (or about 5,000 round trips). The majority of the trips are to European tourist hotspots that are less popular with passengers during the winter.

A spokesperson for the airline said it was “protecting key holiday destinations over half term” and that a vast majority of passengers will travel as planned.

BA added that it was giving customers travelling this winter advanced notice of changes to its flight schedule. Affected customers will be offered another flight with British Airways or another airline, the statement said. If that doesn't work for them, they will be given the option of a refund.

Gatwick Removes Cap On Passengers

On the other hand, UK’s second largest airport Gatwick has just announced that it will not be continuing its summer capacity cap beyond the end of this month.

Chief executive officer of the airport Stewart Wingate said that unprecedented growth in traffic had led to operational issues in June. “Decisive early action” to introduce a capacity limit, however, has ensured passengers have experienced reliable flight timetables this summer.

“We are now very much operating business as usual and do not see any reason to extend the capacity declaration,”

Stewart Wingate

The airport revealed that strong demand from passengers has helped to accelerate its recovery from the effects of the pandemic. 

Changes To The Winter Flight Schedule

British Airways isn't the only big carrier cutting back flights in the months to come as the industry copes with supply-and-demand brought by the pandemic.

In the US, American Airlines is slashing 16% of its schedule which amounts to 31,000 flights during November alone. 

And in Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport has also extended a cap on passengers into the fall, limiting departures to 67,500 in September and 69,500 in October.

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