The holiday travel chaos is set to worsen as BA cancels even more flights for this summer

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that BA will be proactive in canceling flights over the coming months, with hundreds of flights already being canceled each day

British Airways will cancel flights scheduled for this summer
British Airways will cancel flights scheduled for this summer

British holidaymakers face major travel disruptions as British Airways plans ahead and cancels flights for this summer.

Difficulties in managing rising demand since Covid restrictions were lifted and a shortage of staff have meant many airlines have struggled to cope in recent months.

There have been long airport delays and cancellations on a daily basis and now Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that BA is to be proactive in canceling more flights.

British Airways and easyJet are two airlines particularly hard hit by staffing issues, and the UK’s flagship airline has had to cancel more than 1,500 flights in the past month.

Mr Shapps said he called British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle to his office on Tuesday to discuss the recent disruptions.

Grant Shapps said it would try to speed up staff recruitment at airports


AFP via Getty Images)

The Cabinet Secretary told the committee Mr Doyle had explained the problems were “growing pains in many different directions”.

Mr Shapps said: “He told me they are now proactively slimming down their program in advance to be able to meet demand.”

The minister said the airline had found it “quite difficult” to hire enough ground staff such as baggage handlers in a “very, very tight labor market”.

A particular reason for slow recruitment was the completion of security checks, and now Mr Shapps said new aviation recruits are allowed to start training before they pass security checks to reduce flight disruptions.

Passengers have faced chaos in recent weeks as flights have been canceled and long queues at airports.

British Airways cancels hundreds of flights every day


Bloomberg via Getty Images)

British Airways is canceling around 100 short-haul flights a day at Heathrow due to staff shortages.

Travelers have reported waiting several hours to clear security and passport control at airports including Birmingham, Manchester and Heathrow.

Mr Shapps said he would “look at ways to try to support the sector” but would “in no way compromise on aviation security”.

He told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee on Wednesday: “I’ve looked at the rules and found an area where we can help with the bureaucracy, particularly in relation to new people coming into the industry and their need to to be checked for safety.

UK airports have been in chaos for the past few months since Covid restrictions were eased


AFP via Getty Images)

“We can start training without exposing them to the security-related parts of the training without having completed the security clearance as long as it is completed before they start the security-related things.

“I have a legal instrument – I think it’s coming in the House today – to do just that.”

He added: “This is an example of how we will try to work with the sector, but in the end they have to solve these problems by putting people in the right places.”

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