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No ‘meaningful’ BA service until July

British Airways said yesterday it would not restart “meaningful” services until July at the earliest — and there could be a 50 per cent reduction in capacity.

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, the parent company of BA, said the return of flights would be dependent on the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world.

Mr Walsh added: “We will adapt our operating procedures to ensure our customers and our people are properly protected in this new environment.”

He said the company did not expect passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels before 2023 at the earliest.

A BA spokesman added: “This is a fast-moving situation and we recommend all customers check for the latest on their flight on ba.com.”

BA ran a regular service between Bermuda and Gatwick, but flights have not operated since March 20 when the island's airport was closed to scheduled commercial flights because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

IAG yesterday reported an operating loss, before exceptional items, of $578 million — €535 million euros — for the first three months of the year.

Most of the losses came in the last two weeks of March as countries around the world imposed travel restrictions.

No date has been set for the reopening of the island's airport to scheduled commercial services.

British Airways flew two chartered air bridge flights from Heathrow to Bermuda in April.

It was reported at the end of last month that BA had told Britain's Unite union that there was a possibility it would close its full Gatwick operation.

The Bermuda Government posted on Twitter on April 30 that people should expect direct air service between Heathrow and Bermuda once regular commercial air services returned to LF Wade International Airport.

Air travel: British Airways expects a meaningful return to service in July at the earliest. There is no date as yet on when its flights between Bermuda and Britain will resume (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 08, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated May 08, 2020 at 7:52 am)

No ‘meaningful’ BA service until July

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