TENS of thousands of passengers have had their flights cancelled after British Airways axed hundreds more summer flights.
The airline said in a statement that it has “regrettably” become necessary to further reduce its operations as previous schedule cuts aimed at easing disruption proved insufficient.
Holidaymakers will be affected by the move to cancel flights at Gatwick and Heathrow amid continuing disruption in the aviation industry.
A surge in demand for travel, along with staff shortages across roles including airline crew, ground handlers, airport security staff and air traffic controllers, has provoked major disruption across the country.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled and many passengers have been forced to wait several hours in long queues at airports.
British Airways announced in May it would cancel ten per cent of flights between April and October in an attempt to avoid having to axe flights on the day of departure.
The latest cancellations take this figure to around 11 per cent.
The carrier said: “We took pre-emptive action earlier this year to reduce our summer schedule to provide customers with as much notice as possible about any changes to their travel plans.
“As the entire aviation industry continues to face into 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.”
Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: “While it is encouraging to see British Airways taking steps that will spare some passengers from last-minute flight cancellations, it is concerning that months on from its first round of cancellations, BA still seems unsure as to how many flights it can operate each day – especially while still taking new bookings.”
Which? recently reported British Airways to the Civil Aviation Authority for neglecting to tell passengers about their right to compensation and failing to re-route customers at the earliest opportunity.