British Airways cuts close to a million seats this winter to meet Heathrow cap

posted on 23rd August 2022 by Eddie Saunders
British Airways cuts close to a million seats this winter to meet Heathrow cap

By Milo Boyd, Travel Reporter

British Airways services will be reduced by around one million passengers as the company cuts thousands of flights.

BA has announced its chopping around 5,000 short-haul flights from European destinations from late October 2022 to March 2023.

In addition, several hundred intercontinental flights will be scrapped.

BA said it will also cut a dozen round-trips per day – totalling 629 flights – until the end of October.

The move is likely to push up prices on remaining services as close to one million seats are put off the market, the Independent reports.

While BA haven’t announced which flights will be cut yet, most of the cancelled flights will be on routes with multiple daily services.

“Following Heathrow’s decision to extend its passenger cap we’re making adjustments to our short-haul schedule for the next two months,” a BA spokesperson said.

“While the vast majority of our customers will travel as planned and we’re protecting key holiday destinations over half-term, we will need to make some further cancellations up to the end of October.

“We’ll be offering customers affected by any of these changes an alternative flight with British Airways or another airline or the option of a refund.

“In addition, we’re giving customers travelling with us this winter notice of some adjustments to our schedule, which will include consolidating some of our short-haul flights to destinations with multiple services.”

The move is the latest bid by BA to reduce services as it struggles to meet demand following the lifting of coronavirus lockdowns.

It had previously announced that about a 12 round-trips a day to and from London Heathrow up to late October would be cut, in order to meet the airport’s 100,000 departing passengers a day target.

As one of the airlines flying the most services out of Heathrow, BA was particularly badly hit by the airport’s self-enforced cap.

Heathrow decided to reduce its daily services by several thousand seats a day after months of long queues, lengthy waits for take-off and issues reunited passengers with their luggage.

Morale was low among the BA workforce at the beginning of the summer.

A survey conducted by BA pilots’ union Balpa and shared with the Mirror shows how low morale has sunk among those working at the airline.

It found that 65% of pilots planned on leaving within two years, only 12% planned on staying for five years and 90% do not consider BA to be a career airline.

A whopping 77.5% are actively looking for work elsewhere.

A BA pilot speaking to the paper predicted that 10% to 15% of their colleagues would leave for rival British airline Jet2 when it opens its recruitment drive later this year.