Image Source: Finance News
More than 1,500 flights, mainly in July, have been canceled by British Airways. As a result, tens of thousands of travelers who were planning to fly out of Heathrow and Gatwick this summer will be impacted by the most recent wave of cancellations.
As the demand for air travel increases, the sector has been experiencing a staffing crisis. British Airways noted that although it has already cut 10% of its scheduled flights between April and October, “regrettably,” there was still a need for more cutbacks.
The largest airline in the UK, according to a spokeswoman, reduced its summer schedule early this year as a preventative measure to give passengers as much advance warning as possible of any modifications to their travel arrangements. The airline claimed that it had contacted passengers to “apologize and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”
The wave of cancellations occurs in advance of Friday’s deadline for an amnesty to give airlines a brief window to return airport slots in the summer season they are unsure they will be able to operate. The Department set the deadline for Transport (DfT), which had previously announced it last month. Ahead of the deadline, BA is anticipated to announce additional cancellations over the summer.
Airlines are given permission to take off or land at a specific time on a specific day, thanks to airport slots. So if flights are canceled, carriers typically run the danger of losing the slots and suffering a blow to their bottom line.
The cancellations occur as hundreds of British Airways check-in agents at Heathrow choose strike dates that may severely disrupt the busy summer school vacation travel season.
During the Covid epidemic, many jobs in the aviation sector were lost, and airlines and airports have had trouble finding enough workers in time to handle the spike in demand for travel.
Before the airport slot amnesty was revealed, Gatwick declared that it would cut back on summer flight schedules due to a staffing shortfall.
Additionally, Manchester Airport has issued a warning that it won’t be able to reach its pre-pandemic standards until autumn.
Over the Easter and half-term vacations, unexpected airline cancellations had an impact on thousands of customers.
In response to the prior disruption, the government and the aviation watchdog, the Civil Aviation Authority, wrote to airlines advising them to make sure their summer itineraries were “deliverable… based on the resources you and your contractors expect to have available.”