BA to cut 10,300 more flights, intensifying airline disruption


British Airways is to cut 10,300 more flights over the next four months, the latest of thousands of cancellations that caused widespread disruption to aviation this summer.

The reductions in short-haul flights, by the end of October, take advantage of new government rules which allow airlines to return take-off and landing slots at busy airports without losing them permanently.

The decision came just a day after the airline announced it would cut 1,500 flights from its schedules, and just weeks after cutting another 10,000 flights as it tried to consolidate its flagging operations.

Overall, BA has now cut its original summer schedule by 13%, or around 30,000 flights.

“While we don’t want to take any further action, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues,” BA said on Wednesday.

“Although most of our flights are unaffected and the majority of customers are leaving as planned, we do not underestimate the impact this will have and we are doing everything we can to put their travel plans back on track. rails.”

The news came after the carrier hired a new chief operating officer as part of a management shakeup.

René de Groot will join the airline from Dutch flag carrier KLM in October, according to an internal email sent to BA staff by chief executive Sean Doyle.

De Groot, who held the same role at KLM after training as a pilot, will be tasked with restarting BA’s signaling operations after a testing summer with flight cancellations and staff shortages.

KLM faced its own operational problems this summer, exacerbated by a staff shortage at its Amsterdam hub.

“René knows very well the problems we are facing. As COO of KLM, he led the airline’s operations team during the Covid-19 crisis, reducing the schedule in 2020, followed by a bumpy recovery characterized by constantly changing conditions, health regulations and travel restrictions,” Doyle wrote in the email.

“I am convinced that René will help us rebuild our airline and become a better BA,” he added.

The BA issues are part of industry-wide staffing issues at airports among ground handlers and air traffic controllers, which have led to cancellations and delays.

In addition, the airline faces the prospect of a strike by around half of its own check-in staff at Heathrow later this summer, although the Unite and GMB unions have yet to set a date for a strike. ‘stock.

BA’s new hire comes after Doyle unveiled a series of chief executive changes in the spring, including splitting the chief operating officer role in two.

Incumbent Jason Mahoney has been promoted to technical director, while de Groot will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations.

Other airlines that have overhauled their management include easyJet. Peter Bellew, the carrier’s chief operating officer, resigned this week following operational breakdowns at the airline.

BA lost around 10,000 staff in 2020 as the company bled money at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and struggled to rehire fast enough, despite starting recruitment late last year.


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