British Airways will cancel more than 15 long-haul routes in 2021

Dec 18, 2020

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British Airways is reducing its long-haul route network as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While the carrier has reduced operations in some areas throughout the year, it’s cancelling 13 long-haul routes entirely from its network as of summer 2021.

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In total, the airline has elected to suspend more than 15 routes — including to some popular destinations. Split between North America, South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and the Indian Ocean, the cancellations take effect from summer 2021 onwards.

The airline will cancel the following routes as of summer 2021:

  • Africa: Durban (DUR)
  • Asia: Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Osaka (KIX) and Seoul (ICN)
  • Indian Ocean: Seychelles (SEZ; from 24 April 2021)
  • Middle East: Abu Dhabi (AUH),  Dammam (DMM), Jeddah (JED; some operations will take place during July 2021) and Muscat (MCT)
  • North America: Calgary (YYC), Charleston (CHS) and Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • South America: Lima (LIM; from Gatwick)

In addition, British Airways will temporarily suspend its routes to Sydney (SYD), Bangkok (BKK) and San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) during summer 2021 until 30 October 2021. For SJO, the last service will take place on 17 April 2021.

(Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper)

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

British Airways said that it will refund passengers who don’t want to seek alternative arrangements.

BA announced its route to Pittsburgh (PIT) in 2018, before launching the 787-operated service in 2019. Also in October 2018, the carrier announced that it would begin flying one of its Dreamliners to Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), the city where the Dreamliner is assembled. That route launched in April 2019.

In the first half of this year, British Airways reported losses of almost £4 billion. Throughout the year, it’s had to take several cost-cutting measures, including making more than 10,000 staff redundant and retiring its entire Boeing 747 fleet earlier than anticipated.

The airline’s CEO Alex Cruz stepped down in October, with Aer Lingus CEO Sean Doyle taking over.

Former IAG CEO Willie Walsh, the owner of British Airways, said that the group doesn’t expect demand to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or 2024.

Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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