British Airways has confirmed that it will “pause” flights from Gatwick due to the impact of the new national lockdown in England.
The airline said it planned to reduce its flights from Gatwick and would then be “pausing our operations there until early December”.
“Following the government’s announcement of a new national lockdown for England last Saturday, we have been urgently reviewing our schedule for November,” said BA in a statement.
“Our focus is on keeping crucial air links open – bringing home the thousands of customers currently abroad, transporting vital goods, and ensuring people who are permitted to travel in and out of the UK for work, education and other reasons stipulated by the UK government, can continue to do so.”
According to a staff letter, seen by Sky News, BA is also planning to move more employees on to the government’s newly extended furlough scheme as it reduces its schedule over the current four-week lockdown, which is due to end on 2 December.
BA added: “We will be contacting customers whose flights are cancelled to offer refund options, as well as encouraging customers who wish to change their booking to do so via ba.com, where they can also request a voucher for future travel if their flight continues to operate.”
Gatwick said it expected to see BA’s long-haul services resume when Covid-19 restrictions are eased and stressed the airport “remains open”.
“We want to ensure we can continue to support those people who still need to travel as well as being in strong position to respond quickly to increased demand once lockdown comes to an end,” said a spokesperson.
“We urge the government’s Global Travel Taskforce to work swiftly at this time on its proposals for a test and release scheme, as well as a package of financial support measures. It is imperative that testing is implemented by the end of November.”