BA’s move comes after Heathrow last month imposed a daily cap on the number of departing passengers using the airport this summer. Photo Credit: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock
British Airways has suspended the sale of tickets for short-haul services departing from London Heathrow Airport until Aug. 15.
The move affects services from Heathrow to U.K. and European destinations, plus Morocco and Egypt.
The suspension on new short-haul bookings does not affect BA’s flights from other U.K. airports.
The move comes after Heathrow last month imposed a daily cap on the number of departing passengers using the airport this summer and asked airlines to stop selling tickets. The cap of 100,000 passengers per day is due to stay in place until Sept. 11.
A spokesperson for British Airways said: “We’ll continue to manage bookings to be within the Heathrow imposed cap so we can get our customers away as planned this summer.”
BA had already decided to cut more than 10,000 flights between the start of August and the end of October as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a shortage of staff following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other major European hub airports, including Amsterdam’s Schiphol and Frankfurt in Germany, have also imposed caps on flights to stabilize operations this summer.
Clive Wratten, CEO of the U.K.’s Business Travel Association, described BA’s decision as “very disappointing” for the corporate travel industry.
“Confidence is vital, and as we approach the end of the summer holiday period, it has never been more important for business travel,” he said.
“British Airways’ suspension of last-minute sales, many of which would have been made to business travelers, is very disappointing, even if the circumstances that caused it are outside of their control.”