British Airways has trimmed its winter flying programme by two per cent for three months as a measure to protect the operational performance of the airline. The planned cancellations amount to 966 flights out of 42,000 flights in and out of London Heathrow Airport. This is an average of about 12 flights a day out of 540 operated by British Airways.British Airways chief executive Rod Eddington said today: “We made this decision earlier this month as a precautionary measure to help ensure the robustness of our operation.
“We recognised some time ago we were short of staff in some areas and our recruitment programme is now bringing new staff on line. This is about giving some leeway to our operation as the principal carrier at the world’s busiest international airport - an airport which remains crammed to capacity.
“By slightly reducing our flying programme we improve our ability to react effectively to the technical issues that face all airlines every day. The reduced programme gives us more available stand-by aircraft and greater flexibility.
“The cancellations have taken place well in advance and involve destinations where British Airways operates a wide range of alternative frequencies across the day. By doing this, we hope to minimise inconvenience to our customers.
“We began contacting our customers affected by the cancellations during the last two weeks by phone and e-mail.
“These cancellations represent 0.5 per cent of the flying programme through the financial year and our revenue forecast of a two to three per cent improvement for the financial year remains unchanged.”