From today, British Airways has suspended its operations from London City Airport. The flights, operated by subsidiary BA CityFlyer, will not restart until April the 4th at the earliest. In the meantime, passengers will be rerouted via London Heathrow or London Gatwick.
The aviation industry has been brought to its knees by an unexpected and unprecedented situation. In fact, around 35% of the world’s global capacity has been kicked out of the door by the pandemic. Later this week Europe’s largest low-cost carriers will ground their fleets. Meanwhile, their full-service rivals are operating a skeleton service.
City ops suspended
British Airways has suspended operations by its London City subsidiary BA CityFlyer for an initial period of just under two weeks. London City Airport is nestled right in the heart of London, which is currently the UK’s coronavirus hotspot. As a result, many people have been working from home and avoiding travel.
The big appeal of London City Airport is its proximity to the city center in London, a characteristic that makes it perfect for business travelers. However, with meetings moving online and stricter corporate travel policies, such travel has dried up.
As such, according to Business Traveller, BA will be halting all operations from City until the 4th of April. Earlier this month we reported that BA would be halting its premium transatlantic A318 service from City.
Regarding the service cuts, a British Airways spokesperson told Simple Flying:
“In light of the current circumstances, we are moving customers due to fly on British Airways flights to or from London City Airport on to services operating to or from London Heathrow or London Gatwick, between Monday 23 March and Saturday 4 April. We are contacting customers to discuss their options.”
Why cancel flights?
British Airways isn’t the only airline to suspend some services due to the fall in demand. In fact, most airlines in Europe have taken such action. Lufthansa, for example, had grounded 90% of its fleet at last count.
Additionally, routes have been consolidated. In basic terms, this means instead of operating two half-empty services, one will be canceled. The inconvenienced passengers will be moved onto the other service, meaning the airline runs one full service.
While there are so many uncertainties regarding the state of the aviation industry at the moment, one thing is for certain. It is impossible to say when this crisis will be over. Additionally, the industry is likely to be very different on the other side. It had been predicted that the travel industry would just bounce back, however, things have never been this bad before.
Do you think cutting flights from London City was the right thing to do? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.