British Airways Trims Routes For Summer 2021

British Airways has appeared to trim its route network for the summer of 2021. The revelation comes as the global aviation downturn looks set to continue. However, recent vaccine approvals have sparked hope that aviation could once again recover moving forwards.

British Airways, Summer 2021, Routes
British Airways has cut routes from its summer 2021 schedule. Photo: Vincenzo Pace –

Travel bans and restrictions have prompted passenger numbers to fall globally. Rather than operating nearly empty flights that would lose money, airlines have been taking to trimming frequencies and even entire routes. After all, while aircraft on the ground aren’t making money, they’re losing less money than aircraft that are flying around empty.

British Airways cutting routes

Earlier this week, Simple Flying revealed that British Airways had cut its direct route to Buenos Aires in favor of a stopover service tied to its Sao Paulo route. However, the eagle-eyed users over at FlyerTalk noticed that this wasn’t the only change in the summer 2021 timetable.

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Except for Cityflyer routes from Manchester and Stansted (which have been replaced by similar routes from Southampton), the route cuts being implements by British Airways seem primarily focused on long-haul routes. For example, Heathrow routes to Abu Dhabi, Calgary, Charleston, Dammam via Bahrain, Osaka, and Seoul are all terminated, as are many others. From Gatwick, the list includes Cape Town, Lima, JFK, and Toronto, among others.

British Airways, Summer 2021, Routes
Some of the route suspensions will only last during the IATA summer 2021 season. Photo: Vincenzo Pace –

No rush back to Sydney

At the start of December, Simple Flying reported that British Airways would schedule the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on flights to Sydney from March 28th, should the route resume. However, it seems as though the continued lower passenger numbers have prevailed, with the route appearing to be canceled for the IATA summer 2021 season running from March 28th.

Commenting on the route cuts, a British Airways spokesperson told Simple Flying,

“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. We will be in touch with any customers whose flights are affected and advise customers to check for the latest flight information.”

Routes are not the only cuts

Routes are not the only things that British Airways is cutting as a result of the current situation. By this point, everybody is well aware that the British flag carrier has retired its remaining Boeing 747 aircraft fleet.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Doha
British Airways is flying two Airbus A380 to Doha for storage. Simple Flying understands that others will follow. Photo: Getty Images

However, even aircraft that have not been retired have been sent to storage by the airline. Indeed, just today, the airline has sent two Airbus A380s out to storage in Doha. G-XLED and G-XLEJ are flying out to rest their wings alongside Qatar Airways’ grounded fleet, where mechanics from the latter airline will likely take care of the British giants.

Have you had flights canceled due to British Airways’ route cuts? Let us know your experience in the comments!