Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

British Airways Cancels At Least 1,000 More Summer Flights

3 months ago

Flying in Europe is a mess this summer. British Airways has cancelled more than 1,000 additional flights through October amid increasing flight delays and cancellations across the continent.

The Oneworld Alliance carrier is cancelling roughly 1 percent of its schedule from July though October, which equals a little over 1,000 flights according to Cirium schedules. The cuts are on top of the 10 percent reduction that British Airways made to the period in May. An airline spokesperson described this summer’s recovery as the “most challenging period” in the aviation industry’s history.

(Martin Deutsch/Flickr)

EasyJet, KLM, Lufthansa, and Swiss International Air Lines have all been forced to cut schedules in recent weeks due to operational difficulties with staffing, at airports, or with air traffic control. And that was before a pilot strike at Scandinavian airline SAS forced it to cancel as much as 76 percent of its schedule on Tuesday, FlightAware data show, and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.

British Airways is in a unique situation. Executives have placed the blame for operational issues on what they view as understaffing by the operator of London’s Heathrow airport, but politicians have cited both the airline and airport. In addition, a dispute with two of British Airways’ unions has raised the threat of a strike by check-in staff at Heathrow later this summer.

Airlines

Transatlantic Business Travel Recovery Leads at British Airways

5 months ago

International Airlines Group CEO Luis Gallego said Friday that corporate bookings on its flights to and from North America are leading the recovery of business travel at its airlines, which include British Airways and Iberia.

“Business traffic is coming back,” he said during the group’s first-quarter earnings call on Friday. “We see that. For example, banking finance, the levels are around 65 percent the levels that we had in 2019. That’s a sector that is very important for us.”

Overall corporate demand at IAG has recovered to roughly 67 percent of 2019 levels but it varies widely by airline and market. For example, transatlantic corporate demand is at 90 percent of three years ago at British Airways. And across the group, bookings from large corporate accounts has recovered to 60 percent of 2019, while small- and medium-sized business bookings are at 80 percent. IAG also owns Aer Lingus and Spanish budget carrier Vueling.

The business recovery at IAG puts it in between peers Air France-KLM and the Lufthansa Group. Air France-KLM said Thursday that corporate demand is at 70 percent of 2019, while Lufthansa said the same day that it is only at roughly 50 percent but saw a 30-point improvement during the first quarter.

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