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British Airways cuts back summer flights

Grounded: British Airways has reduced the number of flights to the island from next month (File photograph)

British Airways has reduced the number of flights coming to Bermuda – just as the high season begins to take off.

The airline’s regular schedule sees flights out London’s Heathrow Airport arriving on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Return flights leave for Heathrow on the same evening.

But according to BA’s booking website, as many as 26 flights have been scrapped between June and the end of September.

Three Friday flights and two Sunday flights in June have been cancelled.

There are also no flights to Bermuda on Sundays throughout July, August and September, with the exception of July 3.

Tuesday’s regular service has also been scrapped for the majority of August and September – leaving just three flights serving the island each week during those months.

A spokeswoman for BA said that the cutbacks were needed to increase the company’s “operational resilience”.

The spokeswoman said: “The majority of our flights are operating as planned.

“All affected customers are contacted and given the choice to rebook on the nearest available flight or take a refund.

“The past few weeks have been challenging for the entire industry and at British Airways we're completely focused on three priorities – our customers, supporting the biggest recruitment drive in our history and increasing our operational resilience.

“We've taken action to reduce our schedule to help provide certainty for our customers and are giving them maximum flexibility, to either rebook with us or another airline as close to their original departure time as possible, or to receive a full refund.”

The spokeswoman did not say if further reductions were being considered.

Aaron Adderley, the president of Skyport, which manages Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport, described the move as “disappointing”.

He said: “British Airways has confirmed the cancellation of several scheduled flights in June, August, September, and October between Bermuda and London Heathrow due to resource constraints.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing increasing instances where airlines are cancelling future scheduled flights throughout their networks as a proactive measure given the lack of crews and other resources necessary to meet the rise in travel demand, that were laid off or otherwise moved on during the pandemic.

“The move by British Airways is certainly disappointing news given that momentum had been steadily building since the London service switched to Heathrow from Gatwick, with relatively strong passenger loads.

“Additionally, the cancellations are ill-timed as we were hoping to recover 60 to 70 per cent of 2019 traffic this year. That said, we will continue to work with British Airways and the BTA to ensure as much of that early momentum continues as possible.”

Lawrence Scott, the Minister of Transport, did not respond to requests for comment from this newspaper by press time.

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Published May 11, 2022 at 7:16 pm (Updated May 11, 2022 at 7:16 pm)

British Airways cuts back summer flights

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