British Airways contemplating plans for short-haul flight operations


British Airways, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom, is reportedly contemplating plans for a short-haul flight unit at London’s Gatwick airport, as passenger demand continues to decline owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to reliable reports, the airline acknowledged that it was collaborating with unions on the proposals but declined to elaborate further.

Meanwhile, British Airline Pilots Association stated that they are in the final phases of discussions with British Airways about pay and conditions.

Martin Chalk, acting general secretary of the association, stated that the association cautiously welcomed the decision of the airline. The move, according to Mr. Chalk, will generate many, much-needed new job opportunities for pilots. The association aims to wrap up these negotiations as soon as possible.

If the proposed plans are carried out, it will not be the first time that BA has sought to establish a low-cost airline. In 1998, the firm launched Go Fly, which flew between London Stansted and Europe until being acquired by rival, EasyJet four years later.

IAG, the parent company of British Airways, said last month that it was increasing its flight schedules as global air transport constraints relaxed.

It also added that it will operate at only around 45% of passenger load between July and September compared to before Covid-19 pandemic levels, with the possibility of increasing to 75% by the end of this year.

The firm, which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus, reported a loss of more than €2 billion (£1.7 billion) in the six months ending June 30.

IAG, like its rivals, has suffered massive losses in the last 18 months as the pandemic has grounded aircraft all over the world.

Because of its strong exposure to the United Kingdom and transatlantic travel, the firm has been struck particularly hard compared to many of its key competitors in Europe, with the government of the United Kingdom just last month allowing quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated passengers from the United States.

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