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British Airways cancels thousands more flights until October

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British Airways has already axed flights for thousands of passengers in recent months as the aviation sector battles increased demand and staff shortages. Photo: Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty
British Airways has already axed flights for thousands of passengers in recent months as the aviation sector battles increased demand and staff shortages. Photo: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty

British Airways (BA) has announced it will ground thousands more flights for holidaymakers in the coming months as passengers face additional travel chaos.

Britain's biggest airline said another 10,300 short-haul flights will be axed until the end of October, taking the percentage of cancellations across the airline to a total of 13% this summer.

The airline has been one of the worst affected carriers in terms of schedule disruption in recent months as the aviation industry struggles to meet increased demand amid staff shortages and strikes.

Read more: Travel insurance - The 10 mistakes stopping you from getting a payout

It said: "The whole aviation industry continues to face into significant challenges and we’re completely focused on building resilience into our operation to give customers the certainty they deserve.

"The government recently decided to give the whole industry slot alleviation to minimise potential disruption this summer.

"While taking further action is not where we wanted to be, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues.

"This new flexibility means that we can further reduce our schedule and consolidate some of our quieter services so that we can protect as many of our holiday flights as possible.

"While most of our flights are unaffected and the majority of customers will get away as planned, we don’t underestimate the impact this will have and we’re doing everything we can to get their travel plans back on track.

"We’re in touch to apologise and offer rebooking options for new flights with us or another airline as soon as possible or issue a full refund."

Watch: British Airways to ‘cancel July flights for 105,000 holidaymakers’

On Tuesday, it was revealed that BA will scrap flights for up to 105,000 holidaymakers this month on popular routes ahead of the Summer holiday period.

According to reports the airline told airport slot authorities it is grounding more than 650 flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Over 76,000 seats are being axed from Heathrow and 29,400 from Gatwick on flights to more than 70 tourist hotspots including Malaga, Ibiza, Faro, Palma and Athens affected.

Read more: BA flight cancellations: What you need to know

Experts have called the move a "damning indictment" BA’s "failure" to manage its summer flight schedule.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: "This latest raft of flight cancellations is a damning indictment of BA’s mismanagement of its summer flight schedule. BA has continued to promote and sell flights it could not fulfil, even as thousands of customers have faced the chaos of cancellations in recent weeks,” he said.

"Which? recently reported BA to the Civil Aviation Authority for neglecting to tell passengers about their right to compensation and failing to reroute customers at the earliest opportunity. The CAA must take action if BA fails to meet its legal obligations amid this latest round of cancellations."

Read more: British Airways strike to cause summer of travel chaos

The UK's flag carrier, owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG.L) is also facing strike action as hundreds of Heathrow customer service agents plan to take industrial action this month.

Workers voted to strike over a 10% salary cut that was made during the pandemic.

On Thursday, the industrial dispute affecting British Airways’ check-in staff at Heathrow airport was suspended after the company made a "vastly improved" pay offer, the Unite union said.

Unite has announced that BA has made an increased pay offer for check-in staff, following talks yesterday.

The union will ballot members involved in the dispute on the proposed offer, with the dispute suspended.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "We welcome that BA has finally listened to the voice of its check-in staff.

"Unite has repeatedly warned that pay disputes at BA were inevitable unless the company took our members’ legitimate grievances seriously. I pay tribute to, and stand with, our members who have fought hard to protect their pay."

Shares in the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) company IAG surged 3.8% following the announcement.

Watch: Airline refunds: What are your rights as a consumer?

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