Holidays hit

British Airways cancels 1,000 London flights

British Airways pic
BA: hit by staffing problems

Summer getaway plans were thrown into further turmoil today after British Airways cancelled almost 1,000 flights due to take off in July.

The airline has withdrawn 785 flights departing from Heathrow this month and 186 flights departing from Gatwick, affecting an estimated 170,000 passengers.

It means that more than one in ten flights due to operate through Heathrow this month have been cancelled, while Gatwick is worse with 15% of BA departures shelved.

The routes are short-haul as BA seeks to protect more lucrative long-haul services, but these latest cancellations are in addition to about 200 daily flights dropped earlier by BA as it copes with staff absences and shortages across the aviation sector.

It also faces a possible strike by more than 700 check-in and ground operations staff working for the GMB and Unite unions over pay.

A BA spokesman 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. We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”

The spokesman added that cancellations made it easier to consolidate “quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations”.

Huge queues for check-in and security continue to cause delays at Bristol, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted. Edinburgh and Glasgow have been relatively unaffected, but passengers travelling south to connecting services are being caught up in the ongoing turmoil.

EasyJet yesterday parted company with its chief operations officer Peter Bellew, as the airline attempts to recover from months of delays and cancellations.

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