British Airways has responded to reports that its services at Heathrow are set to bear the brunt of further cancellations by saying it “welcomes these further steps”.
An airline spokesperson told the PA news agency that the cancellations, triggered by an amnesty on take-off and landing slots, “will help us provide the certainty our customers deserve by facilitating consolidation of some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance”.
It comes after a Daily Telegraph report said British Airways (BA) Heathrow services would be the airline worst hit by a series of further cancellations.
According to the newspaper, BA had previously planned to carry 1.8 million passengers on more than 9,000 flights from Heathrow in July alone.
The airline told PA it welcomes the new measures, adding that the alleviation of slots – which are allocated twice a year at airports – would help BA “further protect our holiday flights”.
“Slot relief allows airlines to temporarily reduce their schedules while retaining their slots for next year to maintain networks and provide consumers with certainty and consistency,” BA said in a statement.
“Assigning slots according to the (World Airport Slots Guide system) means that airlines can deliver the consistent services and efficient connections that consumers are looking for and protect jobs and create growth in the UK.”
It comes after another week of ‘travel chaos’ at Heathrow when the airport ordered flights canceled because it couldn’t handle them.
On Thursday and Friday, airport passengers complained of long queues, canceled flights and lost luggage due to ‘schedule intervention’ and disruption at UK airports was exacerbated by strikes in Spain.
The threat of industrial action also continues to loom in Britain after union members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a pay strike – although no date has been announced.
BA staff are claiming the 10% salary they ‘stole’ from them last year as they faced ‘fire and rehire’ tactics during the pandemic.