British Airways scraps 15 long-haul flights in ‘sad’ ‘sign of the times’

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The travel industry has become one of the main sectors devastatingly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government restrictions. Now, British Airways has announced it will no longer be serving certain long-haul, direct routes in its summer 2021 schedule.

Among these are non-stop flights to Thailand, the US and Canada, and Seychelles.

Flights to North America affected by the changes include Calgary, Charleston and Pittsburgh.

Flights to Bangkok, Sydney, Abu Dhabi, San Jose, Seychelles, Seol, Durban, Dammam, Osaka, Lima and Muskat have also been axed.

British Airways apologised for the changes which have come as a result of the restrictions forced upon travel in recent months.

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The airline says they have no choice but to operate a “reduced and dynamic schedule”.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We are sorry that, like other airlines, due to the current coronavirus pandemic and global travel restrictions, we are operating a reduced and dynamic schedule.”

Following the news travel expert and CEO of the PC Agency, Paul Charles, tweeted the move was a “sign of the times”.

“Sign of the times: @British_Airways pulls its non-stop flights to #Sydney #Bangkok #BuenosAires #KualaLumpur #AbuDhabi #Seychelles from its summer 2021 schedules. The first UK – Australia passenger flight was in April 1935,” he wrote.

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It was described as “so sad” by one Twitter user commenting on the post.

A second said: “The cost of travel is going to become so prohibitive for many.”

Passengers who are booked onto any of the newly cancelled routes will be offered the opportunity to receive a flight voucher or refund.

British Airways is working to contact impacted passengers.

Flights to San Jose will stop flying from April 17, 2021.

Flights to Seychelles will stop flying from April 24, 2021.

Pittsburgh, Seoul, Durban, Dammam, Osaka, Abu Dhabi, Lima, Muscat, Charleston, Kuala Lumpur, and Calgary flights will end from summer 2021.

Finally, Sydney and Bangkok routes have already ended from October 30, 2020.

British Airways has reported losses which exceed those of the financial crisis of 2008 and the September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.

The airline’s owner IAG announced pre-tax losses of 6.2 billion euros (£5.6 billion) for the nine months to the end of September.

Plane passenger numbers are unlikely to return to 2019 levels within the next year.

British Airways also made approximately 10,000 staff redundant in the summer as a result of the drop in flight traffic.

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