UK’s flag carrier, British Airways (BA) is planning to slash hundreds of more flights for holidaymakers in July as the travel chaos intensifies.
According to the Telegraph, BA will scrap flights for up to 105,000 holidaymakers this month on popular routes ahead of the Summer holiday period.
The UK’s biggest airline has told airport slot authorities that it is grounding more than 650 flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports in an effort to avoid a repeat of June’s travel chaos.
Over 76,000 seats are being axed from Heathrow and 29,400 from Gatwick on flights to more than 70 tourist hotspots including Malaga, Ibiza, Faro, Palma and Athens affected, according to reports.
Airline flight data shows, BA cancelled 295 departures last month, while Europe’s largest budget carrier easyJet (EZJ.L) axed 742 flights in the same month.
Read more: EasyJet chief operating officer resigns amid travel chaos
A BA spokesperson told Yahoo Finance UK: “We took pre-emptive action earlier this year to reduce our summer schedule to provide customers with as much notice as possible about any changes to their travel plans.
“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. We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”
Shares in BA-owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG.L), fell 2.2% in early trade on Tuesday in London.
The news follows a further series of cancellations to summer flights, due to be announced in the coming days and aimed at minimising disruption in the peak holiday season.
Over the weekend, airlines were given permission to cancel flights this summer without incurring in any fines as the government introduced an “airline slot amnesty”.
Under the plan, carriers will be able to ground flights without being penalised for not using their airport slot.
This means that if a flight is planned later this summer and airlines feel they will not be able to staff it, they can cancel it without incurring fines or penalties.
Airlines are required to finalise their summer schedule by Friday 8 July.
Read more: Airline slot amnesty: will my flight get cancelled?
Heathrow is expected to be affected the most by the cancellations as London’s busiest airport struggles to cope with demand.
BA said the slot alleviation measures would make it “easier to consolidate some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance and to protect more of our holiday flights”.
The growing anger over flight disruptions came to a head on Monday, when Peter Bellew, easyJet’s chief operating officer, resigned from his post after a string of flight cancellations, staff shortages, and strikes in recent weeks plunged the budget airline into chaos.
Watch: Flight cancellations: Strike vote threatens summer holidays and passengers in tears as easyJet, British Airways and Wizz Air axe services
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