British Airways Cancels Another 10,000 Flightsby Daniel McCarthy /
The summer of travel chaos continues.
British Airways announced this week that it canceled another 10,300 flights, mostly short-haul routes in or out of London airports scheduled for August through October. According to The Times, the cancellations will affect about 1 million travelers.
The canceled flights, when added to those from previous announcements, amount to close to 30,000 flights and 13% of the carrier’s total schedule through October.
The cancellations, not just for British Airways but also for the whole airline industry, have been attributed to a combination of staffing issues, rising consumer demand for travel, and other problems that have existed for a while now. Aside from British Airways, Scandinavian carrier SAS, Ryanair, EasyJet, and airports across Europe have all been dealing with the issues.
British Airways itself has been trying to navigate potential strikes by the unions that represent its ground staff, the GMB and Unite, this month. The good news for British Airways is that reports on Thursday suggested that the carrier is “close” to a deal with the Unite union, which could help ease some of that pain for travelers this summer.
However, not all airlines are as fortunate. Lufthansa recently announced that it would cancel additional flights from July through September as it continues to deal with its own staffing shortages.
In a message to its travel advisor and partners this week, Lufthansa said it was canceling additional flights “in order to further improve operational stability.” The additional cancellations will mostly affect domestic flights in Germany and flights within Europe, routes where “there are usually several frequencies or alternative travel options.”
To deal with the situation, Lufthansa has temporarily reduced bookings for its flights within Europe and North America to one booking class per compartment, which applies to all new bookings.
Lufthansa staff this week called on the airline to stop its cost-cutting, including staff cuts, in order to deal with not just the increase in demand among consumers, but reports of aggression from customers, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
The carrier’s staffing issues got bad enough for its CEO to apologize to employees and customers late last month for “mistakes” made when cutting costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to try to recruit new staff, particularly in Europe, to solve those issues; however, those plans won’t make an impact until later this year.