British Airways suspends the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow

British Airways suspends the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow

British Airways suspends the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow

British Airways suspends the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow

British Airways suspends the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow

British Airways has suspended the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow for at least a week.

BA said the decision was made after Heathrow asked carriers to limit new bookings after the airport introduced a limit of 100,000 departing passengers on 12 July.

Heathrow blamed a personnel crisis for the unprecedented limit which will last at least until 11 September.

BA’s move comes just days after the summer vacation schools are disbanded and will drive up ticket prices that are already soaring.

All ticket sales on BA domestic and European routes and via Morocco and Cairo have been suspended until 8 August inclusive.

Aviation experts said Monday evening that it was “very possible” that ticket sales should be restricted for the rest of the summer, including the August bank holiday.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” a senior aviation source told the Times. “BA will have hated having to do it at the height of the summer season. He completely removes them from the lucrative last-minute market at a crucial time. “

A BA spokesperson said via email: “We have decided to take responsible action and limit the rates available on certain Heathrow services to help maximize rebooking options for existing customers given the restrictions placed on us. and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry. “

The UK carrier canceled around 13% of its planned capacity this summer due to a shortage of its employees and measures imposed by Heathrow.

Airlines and airports across Europe are struggling to meet the rebounding demand from the coronavirus crisis, with the London hub warning last week that the situation could persist until next summer.

The sales cap imposed by BA is similar to the measures taken by the Dutch unit of Air France-KLM in late May, as signs of travel chaos were emerging this summer.

Like Heathrow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol hub and smaller London Gatwick airport have also imposed restrictions on departures.

Capacity limits may have reduced the number of passengers, but they also tightened fares in an industry where demand was already close to meeting supply on many routes.

An economy class cabin-only seat from London’s smallest airport, City, to Frankfurt on 2 August cost up to £ 417 one way, although round-trip fares were considerably cheaper at around £ 190, according to a search on the BA website.

A flight to Milan Malpensa from London Gatwick was slightly cheaper at £ 354.

A source told the Times that BA had artificially inflated prices on some routes to discourage bookings.

“There were times when London-Edinburgh was £ 400 one way north,” he said. “They were doing this to discourage bookings. Even the vast majority of corporate customers wouldn’t pay for it. “

Rob Burgess, editor of Head for Points, the frequent flyer website, told the Times: “It is very likely that ticket sales will be limited for the rest of the summer, at least until we get past the public holiday weekend. August.

“Anyone who needs to travel from Heathrow in August on a British Airways service and who has not yet booked a ticket should consider booking as soon as possible in case the booking is closed for additional dates.”

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