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British Airways has responded to reports its Heathrow services are expected to bear the brunt of new cancellations by saying it “welcomes these new measures”.
A spokesperson from the airline told the PA news agency that the cancellations, triggered by an amnesty on take-off and landing slots, will “help us to provide the certainty our customers deserve by making it easier to consolidate some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance”.
It comes after a report The Daily Telegraph reported British Airway’s (BA) Heathrow services would be the airline worst hit by a raft of new cancellations.
According to the newspaper, BA had previously planned to carry 1.8 million passengers across more than 9,000 flights from Heathrow during July alone.
The airline told PA it welcomed the new measures, adding that slot alleviation – which are allocated twice a year at airports – would help BA to “protect more of our holiday flights”.
“Slot alleviation allows airlines to temporarily reduce their schedules but still retain their slots for the next year to maintain networks and provide consumers with certainty and consistency,” BA said in a statement.
“Allocating slots according to the (World Airport Slots Guide system) means airlines can offer 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 to be cancelled because it could not handle them.
On Thursday and Friday passengers at the airport complained of long queues, cancelled flights and lost baggage as “schedule intervention” and disruptions at UK airports were exacerbated by strikes in Spain.
The threat of industrial action is also continuing to loom in Britain after union members voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay – although no dates have been announced.
BA staff are demanding the 10% of pay they had “stolen” from them last year as they faced “fire and rehire” tactics during the pandemic.