British Airways cancels 115 flights sparking Easter travel misery

The airline has blamed the impact of Covid-19 on the cancellations

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British Airways (BA) has cancelled at least 115 flights to and from Heathrow Airport on Monday as the Easter holiday travel nightmares continue.

The cancellations include many flights axed as a result of BA’s recent decision to cut back its schedule until the end of May due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

In a statement, the airline said: “Aviation has been one of the industries worst hit by the pandemic, and airlines and airports are experiencing the same issues rebuilding their operations while managing the continuing impact of Covid."

This news comes after a string of BA flights were grounded due to an IT issue on March 30.

easyJet have also been forced to cancel at least 222 trips since last Friday, citing high levels of sickness among employees caused by Covid.

File photo of a line of British Airways planes
File photo of a line of British Airways planes
easyJet has also cancelled at least 222 trips since last Friday
easyJet has also cancelled at least 222 trips since last Friday

A total of 62 flights scheduled for Monday have been pulled, the majority of which were announced at short notice on Saturday.

The airline said it had made efforts to offset staff shortages by “rostering” additional standby crew on the weekend but was forced to make “additional cancellations for today (Sunday) and tomorrow”.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness.

“We have taken action to mitigate this through the rostering of additional standby crew this weekend, however, with the current levels of sickness we have also decided to make some cancellations in advance which were focused on consolidating flights where we have multiple frequencies so customers have more options to rebook their travel, often on the same day.

“Unfortunately it has been necessary to make some additional cancellations for today and tomorrow. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to customers on affected flights.

“We have made 62 pre-emptive cancellations for flights to and from the UK for tomorrow which represents a small proportion of tomorrow’s total flying programme which was planned to be more than 1,645 flights.

“We cancelled the majority of these yesterday.”

Passengers complained of being stuck in long queues at Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning as the Easter holidays got under way.

Heathrow said the congestion was caused by Covid checks required by destination countries and “high passenger volumes”.