British Airways (BA) is canceling 1,500 more flights from UK airports this summer.
Most of the axed journeys, around 650, are in July while Heathrow and Gatwick airports will see around two-thirds of the cancellations.
More than 100,000 passengers visiting popular destinations including Faro in Portugal and Malaga in Spain will be affected. The airline, however, says that most of the flights that are being cut are on routes with multiple daily departures.
The aviation industry continues to struggle with staff shortages as the number of passengers begins to bounce back. BA already canceled 10 percent of scheduled flights between April and October in an attempt to prevent flights from being axed on the day of departure.
Now, it says that “regrettably” more reductions are needed. After the latest cut, the airline plans to operate around 80 percent of the flights it did pre-pandemic.
“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,” a spokesperson for BA said.
“As the entire aviation industry continues to face the most challenging period in its history, regrettably it has become necessary to make some further reductions.”
They added that the carrier, which is the UK’s largest, is in touch with its passengers to “apologize and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”
The UK Department of Transport recently set a deadline of 8 July for an amnesty on airport slots this summer season.
Intended to ease the airport chaos, it means that airlines can hand back authorized slots to take off and land that they aren’t sure they can operate. Airlines with scheduled flights later this summer that cannot provide staff will be able to cancel without incurring fines or penalties.
After this most recent wave of cancellations, BA could announce that more flights will be axed this summer ahead of the Friday deadline.
The threat of staff walkouts could also see flights canceled at the last minute. Thousands of BA check-in staff at Heathrow are currently deciding on strike dates in the coming weeks and months.