LONDON – British Airways (BA), the UK’s largest airline, said it will restrict flight operations due to the new lockdown in November. Additionally, the carrier announced there will be many layoffs coming.
The carrier has declared that the Winter season will be a failure without hope, grounding more aircraft, and suspending all flights from the second largest airport in the UK, London Gatwick (LGW).
Statement from British Airways
As mentioned by Sky News, a BA staff wrote in a letter: “We have made the difficult decision to further reduce our operations for the remainder of November. This means far fewer flights than we hoped for in November and means landing more planes, including the suspension of all flights from Gatwick until December.”
The company said this would mean “moving many more colleagues from the operational and support areas to the government’s extended retention program.” BA will continue to repatriate overseas customers and carry out flights for essential cargo.
Statement from IAG
IAG, BA’s owner, said, “Our focus is on keeping crucial air links open: bringing home the thousands of customers currently abroad, transporting vital goods and ensuring people who are permitted to travel into and out of the UK for work, education and other reasons stipulated by the UK government can continue to do so,” it said.
As mentioned by Skynews: “the owner of BA International Airlines Group – which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Level – had already said last month that due to the ‘high uncertainty of the current environment’ its capacity in the fourth quarter of 2020 would not have been more than 30% of that of a year earlier.”
Critical Situation Due to COVID-19
The carrier, along with other British airlines, have cut thousands of jobs as it struggles to cope with the global pandemic and restrictions imposed by governments around the world.
Trade body Airlines UK has appealed to the government for sector-specific support, this week writing to Mr. Sunak, asking for access to additional loans and a 12-month suspension of Air Passenger Duty.
Featured image: British Airways Boeing 747-436 taking off. Photo: British Airways