British Airways (BA) has reportedly axed 20 per cent of its summer schedule as travel chaos drags on.
According to an analysis by the Times, when compared with what was announced in April, BA cancelled around 18 per cent of flights for July, August and September.
That is 5 per cent more than what was estimated.
The analysis came after the carrier was forced on Wednesday to axe another 10,300 flights for the August to October period, taking advantage of the government’s “amnesty” on airport slots.
To help airlines avoid last-minute cancellations, the Department for Transport gave carriers a brief window to give back the airport slots if they weren’t sure they could operate them.
The “amnesty” period closed yesterday.
“While taking further action is not where we wanted to be, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues,” said a company spokesperson.
“This new flexibility means that we can further reduce our schedule and consolidate some of our quieter services so that we can protect as many of our holiday flights as possible.”
The airline said that while the majority of its flights – including long-haul routes – was not affected, it didn’t “underestimate the impact this will have” on passengers.
BA is not the only carrier to have drastically reduced its schedule due to a combination of labour shortages and surge in travel demand.
Easyjet axed 15 per cent of its flights, going from 166,056 planned to 141,433, while Ryanair’s cancellations affected 7 per cent of services, the newspaper reported.