British Airways points blame at UK government after weeks of travel chaos

British Airways points blame at government after weeks of travel chaos. CC/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

THE owner of British Airways, Luis Gallego, has suggested the government takes some blame after weeks of travel chaos have seen cancelled flights and lengthy airport queues.

Luis Gallego, the airlines chief, said the government had to “take some accountability for all this,” referring to the shortage-induced travel disruption seen at airports across the country, in an interview with the Sunday Times today, June 12.

Passenger demand has surged in the past couple of months while airports have been hit with staff shortages.

Grant Shapps, UK transport minister, criticized airlines in recent weeks saying, “the sector should stop overselling flights and make receiving compensation a simpler process.”

However, Luis Gallego has said the government must work with the aviation sector “in a constructive way.”

He said: “They have said the problem was that we overbooked and didn’t forecast demand, but forecasting demand is one thing we as airlines know how to do.”

“The more difficult thing has been to forecast what the government is going to do,” he added.

In reference to criticism from Shapps, Gallego said: “We were surprised and we want to explain what is happening because it is not fair to tell the public that this is all caused by the airlines.”

“Can we do it better? For sure. Do we have our own problems? For sure. But everybody needs to understand they can do things better.”

British Airways was reported to have cancelled 110 short-haul flights to and from London Heathrow airport on Friday.

It comes as budget airline EasyJet has cancelled more than 1,500 flights over the past three weeks.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.