Heathrow cancellations: 158 flights grounded over next 10 days

Exclusive: United, Lufthansa, SAS and Aer Lingus are showing the highest number of cancellations

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 15 July 2022 13:12 BST
Heathrow Grounded

Twenty transatlantic flights on United Airlines alone have been grounded over the next 10 days in response to the unprecedented capacity cut by London Heathrow airport.

Six departures to New York Newark and five to San Francisco are among the cancellations.

Heathrow is insisting passenger levels do not exceed 100,000 during the summer.

From a list of cancellations made between Friday 15 July and Sunday 24 July, The Independent has calculated 158 outbound departures are cancelled, with the same number of inbound links likely to be axed.

In total, around 50,000 passengers are likely to be affected over the 10 days.

Air Canada is grounding nine departures to its home nation, with Heathrow’s newest transatlantic carrier– JetBlue – required to axe two flights to New York JFK.

For Asia flights, Singapore Airlines is cancelling five departures to its home base over the 10-day spell, while Air India is required to ground the same number: three to Delhi and one each to to Mumbai and Amritsar.

Thai Airways has also cancelled two flights to Bangkok, while there are single cancellations on long-haul routes to Addis Ababa, Bogota, Cairo, Tokyo and Taipei.

Short-haul routes are even harder hit, with Lufthansa and its Eurowings subsidiary cancelling a total of 25 – including 10 to Frankfurt and eight to Munich.

SAS has grounded 14 flights to Oslo (eight), Stockholm (four) and Copenhagen (three), while Swiss is cancelling 11 to Zurich (six) and Geneva (five).

The other airline with cancellations in double figures is Aer Lingus at 12, of which eight are to Dublin and others to Belfast City (two), Cork and Shannon.

In a separate move, British Airways has already grounded almost 30,000 flights this summer, and is understood to be cancelling only six more services in response to the Heathrow cap.

These are to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, where the train provides an alternative, as well as Amsterdam and Luxembourg – both accessible on Eurostar via Brussels.

A spokesperson for BA said: “This is incredibly disappointing news for our customers, coming at a time when we’ve already taken responsible action to reduce our summer schedule to slim our programme further, utilising slot alleviation to minimise disruption, provide certainty for travellers and help airports manage their resource.

“As a result of Heathrow’s request, we will now need to take a small number of additional flights out of our schedule.

“We also know that some customers may want to review their travel plans in light of the current travel challenges and have introduced a policy that will allow customers to easily change travel dates so that they have additional flexibility.”

There are many notable absentees from the list:

  • Emirates, which has flatly refused to cancel any of its flights to Dubai
  • Gulf-based rivals Etihad and Qatar Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic and its partner Delta Airlines
  • American Airlines, one of the leading carriers at Heathrow
  • Air France and its partner KLM, which fly frequently to Paris and Amsterdam respectively
  • Long-haul carriers with multiple daily departures such as Qantas and Cathay Pacific
  • British Airways’ partners, Iberia and Finnair

Airlines are understood to be in negotiation with Airport Coordination Ltd (ACL), the independent agency that coordinates departure and arrival slots at constrained airports.

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