BRITISH Airways is to axe 16,000 flights and its staff are threatening pay strikes – fuelling fears of summer travel chaos.
Around 60 trips each day – about 10 per cent of all BA flights – are set to be scrapped between March and the autumn.
As BA juggles staff shortages, employees who will take a hit due to the cuts are voting on whether to strike, Daily Mail reports.
Many already accepted a pay reduction of 10 per cent during the pandemic – but now they want their full salaries reinstated as the cost of living soars.
GMB trade union representative Nadine Houghton said it is “no wonder” workers are considering taking a stand.
Chiefs from GMB and Unite unions are getting a hold on how many people will participate in a walkout if pay demands aren’t met.
Ground staff were among those to rejected a “generous” one-off lump sum – around 10 per cent of their wage – because it meant the long-term pay cut would remain in place.
The majority of staff however are understood to have accepted the incentive.
The airline has been forced to reduce its schedule until May, in a bid to prevent passenger disruption at short notice.
Flights are both domestic and international are affected, with European hotspots affected including Malaga, Palma and Lisbon.
Ten flights across the UK have been axed, with domestic routes from Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen affected.
The rest of the flights cancelled are across Europe, with affected destinations including Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich.
Travellers on the cancelled flights have been told a few weeks in advance.
EasyJet has also cancelled a number of flights across the UK and Europe, with more than 70 affected from Gatwick Airport.
It comes just hours after BA was forced to cancel long haul routes across the summer, putting holidays at risk.
BA has cancelled UK flights to Miami, Hong Kong and Tokyo throughout the summer, with plans to scrap the routes for at least four months.
The firm’s owner, International Airlines Group, said: “The problems we are having at BA we can see in other airlines.”
It comes as passengers got stuck in huge queues at Manchester and Bristol terminals, with some waiting more than three hours to check in.
Travellers have complained of mammoth lines at check-in desks and severe hold-ups through security.
The problems, which also include difficulty recruiting, have pushed several airlines to cancel huge numbers of flights.
And industry experts have warned Brits to get to arrive in plenty of time to avoid missing take-off.
Janine Blackburn, who was travelling through Manchester Airport yesterday, said: “As if it wasn’t bad enough taking three hours to get through, [I’m] now delayed because passengers can’t get to the gate on time.”