British Airways will continue to slash flights to popular European destinations into the summer because of staff shortages – plunging holiday plans into turmoil.
The airline has been cancelling up to 100 flights a day in and out of Heathrow, disrupting travel for thousands of passengers.
In a fresh blow to travellers, Sean Doyle, chief executive of British Airways (BA), told staff yesterday that the number of flights to some destinations would be decreased until the end of June, a month longer than expected, to make its schedules more reliable.
The majority of services being cut are short-haul, high-frequency flights to European destinations, BA has confirmed to British Airways has already culled long-haul flights to Miami, Hong Kong and Tokyo over the summer and plans to restart them in September.
The news came after Easter chaos at airports when a combination of Covid absences among staff, a surge in post-pandemic holiday demand, and more than 200,000 unfilled roles in the sector led to lengthy queues at airports, with British Airways (BA) and EasyJet cancelling hundreds of flights.
Mr Doyle reportedly said yesterday that the airline had had to grow its flight schedule from 30 per cent of normal capacity to 80 per cent in just a few months.
British Airways has been cancelling dozens of flights a day as the carrier grapples with staff shortages.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said today that recruits to the industry would be allowed to start training before receiving security check clearance.
Speaking to the Commons’ Transport Select Committee, Mr Shapps said he had called Mr Doyle into his office for urgent talks yesterday to discuss the ongoing disruption.