UK Major Airline Cut Flights and Staff Amid the Pandemic

British Airways

UK travelers will now have fewer options to choose flights in the coming months and years as airlines plan to cut flights.

Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic said that his airline plans to fly only half its 2019 program in 2021.

“We’ve taken a severe look at the outlook for travel. Especially long-haul travel, which we of course are focused on,” he said.

“The scenarios we are planning are for 25 percent of [2019] capacity flown in 2020. And only 50 percent of the capacity in 2021.

“So assuming that travel returns to some normality in 2021 we should be fine.”

Virgin Atlantic Reducing Services

Virgin Atlantic’s core market of transatlantic flights is likely to continue to reduce. At present, it has just one daily flight on its flagship route between London Heathrow and New York JFK.

But Mr. Weiss says that it will add links that are “cash-positive from day one”. However, it is also resuming services to Pakistan from Heathrow and Manchester from December.

In addition, the online analyst, AirlineRoutes, reports additional Virgin Atlantic flights to the Caribbean from late December.

However, the airline will be increasing departures from Heathrow to Montego Bay in Jamaica from three to five weekly from 23 December.

From the same date, the Manchester-Barbados route gets a fourth weekly flight, increasing to five a week from 3 January.

British Airways Canceling Flights

British Airways’ parent company, IAG, has experienced “an overall leveling off of bookings” according to its latest statement to the market.

The group, which includes Aer Lingus of Ireland and Spanish airlines Iberia and Vueling, says, “Short-haul bookings have fallen slightly following the re-implementation of quarantine requirements by the UK and other European governments for travelers returning from specific countries including Spain.”

“As anticipated, IAG has seen a delayed recovery of long-haul booking activity, impacted by the continued existence of travel restrictions to many long-haul destinations, including North and South America.”

However, the group plans to operate only 40 percent of its services between October and December. Since the last bulletin, this will be another cut of one-third of flights.

British Airways is now canceling many services to and from Africa. The Foreign Office regards the entire continent as “unacceptably high risk”.

IAG forecasts, “It will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels.”

As the UK government expands the number of locations on its no-go list, Jet2 has announced all its package holidays to the Greek islands of Crete and Zante have been canceled for the remainder of the year.

A spokesperson said, “We can assure our customers and partners in Crete and Zante. That we remain completely committed to these fantastic destinations.”

“Bookings for next summer are looking strong, and we cannot wait to be back doing what we do best. That is working with hoteliers and our partners to make sure our customers enjoy their well-deserved holidays.”

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