British Airways (BA) is axing an additional 1,500 flights this month to guarantee smoother operations amid the ongoing travel mayhem.
The airline today trimmed its cancellation forecasts by 1 per cent, after in May it announced it was reducing its April to October schedule by 10 per cent, around 8,000 flights.
“As the entire aviation industry continues to face into the most challenging period in its history, regrettably it has become necessary to make some further reductions,” said a company spokesperson.
“We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”
The announcement came as reports emerged late on Monday night that the carrier was axing 650 flights from major holiday destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece – affecting around 105,000 travellers.
According to aviation analyst Sally Gethin, the latest round of cancellations was expected as the airline takes advantage of the UK Government’s decision to grant carriers an “amnesty” period and allow them to give back their airport slots if they are not sure they will be able to use them.
The deadline expires on Friday.
BA welcomed the news, as it would help the airline provide “the certainty our customers deserve” by consolidating “some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance,” protecting holidays.
“This is cold comfort for passengers, but the earlier they are notified of any cancellation, the better their prospects for rearranging their flight and travel plans,” Gethin told City A.M.
BA is to face even more disruption as members of the unions Unite and GMB working at Heathrow as check-in staff voted in favour of strike action over having a 10 per cent pay cut reinstated.
Even though no dates have been announced yet, it is understood the walk out could hit the third and fourth weekend of July to maximise disruption, City A.M. reported.