Britons are set for further travel chaos amid new plans to axe more flights next week just as the summer holidays begin.
Due to ongoing travel issues across the industry, it is understood airlines using Heathrow are now racing to rework their flight schedules due to the amnesty announced by the Government last month.
According to The Daily Telegraph, British Airways is expected to face the brunt of cancellations while as airports must finalise their summer schedule by Friday.
It is understood that flights cancelled or removed from airline schedules after the Friday deadline will not fall under the slot amnesty.
The amnesty on flights last month allowed airlines to hand back landing and take-off slots if they are unable to use them despite having purchased slots ahead of the season.
Commenting on the news, however, British Airways said it “welcomes these new measures”.
A spokesperson from the airline told the PA news agency that the cancellations will “help us to provide the certainty our customers deserve by making it easier to consolidate some of our quieter daily flights to multi-frequency destinations well in advance”.
The airline had previously planned to carry 1.8 million passengers across more than 9,000 flights from Heathrow during July alone.
The airline told PA it welcomed the new measures, adding that slot alleviation – which are allocated twice a year at airports – would help BA to “protect more of our holiday flights”.
“Slot alleviation allows airlines to temporarily reduce their schedules but still retain their slots for the next year to maintain networks and provide consumers with certainty and consistency,” BA said in a statement.
“Allocating slots according to the (World Airport Slots Guide system) means airlines can offer the consistent services and efficient connections that consumers are looking for and protect jobs and create growth in the UK.”
It comes after another week of “travel chaos” at Heathrow when the airport ordered flights to be cancelled because it could not handle them.
On Thursday and Friday passengers at the airport complained of long queues, cancelled flights and lost baggage as “schedule intervention” and disruptions at UK airports were exacerbated by strikes in Spain.
The threat of industrial action is also continuing to loom in Britain after union members voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay – although no dates have been announced.
BA staff are demanding the 10 per cent of pay they had “stolen” from them last year as they faced “fire and rehire” tactics during the pandemic.
Last month, the Government set out a 22-point plan to support the aviation industry. It sets out all of the measures the government is taking to support the aviation industry, including to: help recruit and train staff; ensure the delivery of a realistic summer schedule; minimise disruption; support passengers when delays and cancellations are unavoidable.