August 15, 2022
British Airways Stops Sale of Short-Haul Flights from Heathrow
Airlines Airports Industry

British Airways Stops Sale of Short-Haul Flights from Heathrow

DALLAS – British Airways (BA) has stopped selling short-haul flights from its London Heathrow (LHR) hub until at least August 8 as the travel chaos continues.

All of the carrier’s domestic and European flights will be affected. BA will remove thousands of seats from sale, pushing travelers onto rival airlines and undoubtedly causing a rise in ticket prices.

The move comes after Heathrow introduced a daily cap of no more than 100,000 passengers who can pass through the facility each day. The cap will last until September 11. This resulted in BA alone canceling 10,300 flights with over a million passengers affected.

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BA is Heathrow’s biggest operator and has been significantly affected by the passenger cap. Photo: Heathrow Airports Limited

Reaching Passenger Limit


It is believed that BA made the decision after it came close to reaching the maximum number of passengers it was allowed to carry under the cap. Suspending the sale of seats on its short-haul network will stop any last-minute bookings and give the airline some leeway, protecting its more lucrative long-haul services.

In a statement, a spokesperson for BA said, “As a result of Heathrow’s request to limit new bookings, we’ve decided to take responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services to help maximise rebooking options for existing customers, given the restrictions imposed on us and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry.”

BA Airbus A319-131 (G-EUOG). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

Criticism


Heathrow has been widely criticized for its handling of the recent disruption to the aviation industry. Emirates (EK) said that the airport had shown “blatant disregard for consumers” after choosing “not to act, not to plan, not to invest,” as passenger numbers rebounded when governments lifted COVID travel restrictions.

The sentiment was echoed by Virgin Atlantic (VS), claiming LHR was solely responsible for the issues that have created the chaos.

However, LHR isn’t the only major airport to implement passenger caps. Nearby Gatwick (LGW) and the Dutch hub of Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) have also imposed restrictions on their passenger numbers.


Featured Image: The cap is expected to affect thousands of travelers. Photo: Heathrow Airports Limited.

editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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