British Airways reduces Heathrow flights through winter

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Photo used for illustrative purpose.

British Airways said on Monday it is reducing the number of its planned flights at London’s Heathrow airport through the winter as the aviation sector continues to struggle with staffing issues amid resurging travel demand.

The announcement of the cut in 10,000 flights through the month of March follows the announcement last week by Heathrow that it was extending into October the passenger cap it introduced in July.

“We’re now adjusting our winter short-haul schedule until the end of March, reducing our schedule by around 5,000 round-trips,” the airline said in a statement.
It added it was also making adjustments to its short-haul schedule for the next two months following Heathrow’s announcement last week.

Europe’s largest airport introduced a cap of 100,000 departing passengers per day in July, roughly 4,000 passengers per day fewer than scheduled flight capacity.
It was originally slated to have expired at the end of September and was brought in to reduce the chaos in recent months caused by a post-pandemic surge in passengers amid insufficient staffing.

Airlines scheduled thousands of flights in Europe this summer season to capture a boom in travel demand following the relaxation of Covid restrictions.
But having cut back staff drastically during the pandemic, both airlines and airports found it difficult to hire enough employees.

This led to long waits to check in, clear security and collect bags in many airports across Europe, as well as to cancellations of flights due to lack of crew.

British Airways has reduced its May-October travel capacity by 13 per cent, and the airline temporarily stopped selling tickets for its short-haul flights from Heathrow.

The announced cuts are an eight per cent reduction in winter capacity. British Airways now plans to operate this winter 290 daily round trips from Heathrow, its main hub.

Agence France-Presse

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