Air carriers on both sides of the Atlantic are announcing cuts to their schedules going into the Fall of 2022, as staffing shortages continue to plague both operators and airports.
Weather and Staff Issues Ground Flights, While Heathrow Continues to See Issues
Over the weekend of August 19, 2022, airlines contended with a number of issues to keep flights moving on time. CBS News reports since Sunday, August 21, 2022, over 3,000 U.S. flights have been cancelled and 19,000 more delayed. Airlines were quick to blame a familiar combination for all the problems over the weekend: Severe weather impacting flights at major airports and air traffic control staff problems.
However, the issues are slowing seeming to ease as the week continues. Data from FlightAware.com shows only 141 cancellations among flights within, arriving, or departing the United States, and just over 1,200 delays among those flights.
The same can’t be said for those planning a flight through London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Britain’s The Guardian reports British Airways – the flag carrier which utilizes Heathrow as their home hub – will ultimately cull 10,000 flights in and out of the terminal.
The service cuts will consist of 600 round trip flights from London Heathrow through October 29, 2022. Through the holiday season and into winter 2023, the airline will ground an additional 8% of their schedule. Flyers will also be unable to book short haul flights from Heathrow, as British Airways suspended all short-haul operations until further notice.
Their move comes as Heathrow continues to cap daily passengers to 100,000 per day through October 2022. The original daily cap came after the airport experienced an overload due to not having enough ground staff able to handle incoming and outgoing flights, resulting in delays and lost luggage for passengers.
Regulators Want Answers on Cancellations
As airlines continue to struggle with their calendars, regulators are starting to fight back and propose their own fines for issues. In June 2022, British regulators warned airlines to cancel flights they couldn’t operate well ahead of time, or face potential fines.
Source: frugal travel guy