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BA announce Gatwick and Heathrow flight cuts

02.08.08

British Airways is to axe hundreds of flights between Glasgow Airport and London this winter. It will scrap 77 return flights to Heathrow - a 6% drop - and 210 return services to Gatwick - almost a quarter of the flights - from its winter timetable, which runs from the end of October to the end of March.

After reporting a massive drop in profits yesterday on record fuel costs, BA has announced it will cut an average of 10 flights a week between Glasgow and the two main London airports this winter. Connecting flights from Heathrow and Gatwick to popular destinations will also be cut.

A spokesman for the airline said the reduction in winter flights was being planned in such a way as to minimise the impact on passengers, adding there would still be an average of 9 flights a day to Heathrow and 5 to Gatwick. The daily flight to London City airport is unaffected.

However, passenger groups have reacted to the news with anger, saying that the cuts would create confusion because different flights have been axed from the timetable on different days throughout the winter. This means regular passengers taking the same flights each time they travel may have to contend with a different service pattern every week.

The BA spokesman said it was spreading the cuts across the winter timetable rather than axing any specific flights to retain its valuable landing slots at London's airports. These are worth tens of millions of pounds each, but must be used at least 80% of the time.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce said the way the cuts were being introduced compounded the misery for regular travellers. Liz Cameron, its chief executive, said: ‘These complex proposals guarantee their landing slots without guaranteeing passengers the present level of service.’

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