British Airways (BA) yesterday axed another 10,300 flights for the August-October period as the carrier continues to battle the raging travel chaos.
The airline said it was taking advantage of the “amnesty” period granted by the UK Government over 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 cuts – now involving 13 per cent of flights – are set to leave long-haul services unaffected.
“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.”
This follows BA’s decision to cut a further 1,500 flights throughout July.
The carrier announced on Tuesday it was trimming its cancellation forecasts by 1 per cent, following a 10 per cent reduction already reported in May.
Aviation analyst Sally Gethin told City A.M. she expects more flights to be axed, as airlines continue to take advantage of the “amnesty” period, which comes to an end on Friday.
To help with the current situation, BA also appointed KLM’s Rene de Groot as chief operating officer.
“We’re pleased to welcome René de Groot to our senior Management Committee team, who will be joining us as our chief operating officer,” said the airline.
Stepping down from the same role at the Dutch airline, De Groot is expected to start at BA on 1 October. BA’s current COO, Jason Mahoney, will instead become chief technical officer.
The reshuffling comes on the heels of the UK carrier deciding to split its operations structure into two to provide a better focus on both the technical and operations sides.
In a letter to staff seen by the PA news agency, chief executive Sean Doyle said the 53-year-old Dutch businessman was “very familiar with the issues that we’ve been grappling with” as he carried KLM during the pandemic.
“I am confident that Rene will help us to rebuild our airline and become a better BA,” Doyle wrote to employees.