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BA restricts sales for Heathrow short-haul flights for rest of summer

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theguardian.com

British Airways will restrict sales for short-haul flights from Heathrow all summer, with no more tickets for departures before 15 August, in an attempt to head off further disruption and flight cancellations.The unprecedented move by BA comes in response to the London airport’s cap on passengers, limiting total numbers to 100,000 a day, after staff shortages led to long queues, flight delays and problems with baggage earlier this year.The airline said it was taking “responsible action” which would build resilience, and that suspending its sales of seats to domestic and European destinations would also allow existing customers to re-book flights as needed.BA cancelled more than 10,000 summer flights last month but will not be removing any further departures from the schedule under the new plans, and no existing bookings will be affected.After 15 August, the airline plans to restrict sales “dynamically” rather than with a blanket ban, but expects to continue to limit available seats for busier days and periods throughout the summer.

It said the measures would protect existing bookings and help manage any disruption due to other factors, such as adverse weather or air traffic restrictions.A British Airways spokesperson said: “We took pre-emptive action to reduce our schedule this summer to give customers certainty about their travel plans and to build more resilience into our operation, given the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry.“When Heathrow introduced its passenger cap, we took a small number of additional flights from our schedule.

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