British Airways said on Tuesday it would cancel hundreds of additional summer flights, saying that was necessary after previously announced moves to cut back on scheduled flights proved insufficient to ease travel disruptions.
The announcement will affect tens of thousands of travelers planning to fly out of London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
The airline announced in the spring that it would cancel 10% of its flights between April and October to avoid having to cancel flights on the day of departure.
Recent cancellations bring the number to around 11%. British Airways said it was offering customers a refund or rebooking on other flights.
British Airways said: “We took precautionary measures earlier this year to reduce our summer schedule to provide customers with as much notice as possible about any changes to their travel plans.”
“With the entire airline industry continuing to grapple with the most difficult period in its history, unfortunately, some additional cuts have become necessary,” she added.
Airlines and airports in Europe, the United States and elsewhere are understaffed for jobs ranging from baggage handlers to security personnel. The shortage, along with increased travel demand after coronavirus restrictions were lifted in many places, has led to airport routes and flight delays.
The cancellation of British Airways followed a vote by its workers at Heathrow Airport to organize an exit in a wage dispute. Workers, including the check-in staff, decide when to strike, but that is expected during the peak summer vacation period.