British Airways is facing a cabin crew shortage as it adds more flights to reopened vacation destinations at the same time that an increasing number of crew members are being ordered to self-isolate due to an increase in COVID-19 infections across the United Kingdom.
According to British Airways, all of its flights are currently operating normally.
The warning came in the form of a memo from a cabin crew union, which informed cabin crew who are still on the job that the next few days will be "challenging."
“As we head into this weekend, for a variety of reasons, BA is facing a significantly under-resourced period. This has been caused by a combination of factors, increased self-isolation, higher than expected customer loads, and of course an increase to the flying programme,” the memo from BASSA union said.
The hospitality industry has recently complained about severe staff shortages as a result of employees being forced to self-isolate as infection rates rise rapidly.
Despite a massively successful vaccination campaign that has reached nearly 87 percent of the adult population, the UK recorded 35,707 new infections on Friday.
Despite the fact that British Airways still has thousands of employees on furlough, the airline may face a crew shortage in the coming days as it recalls cabin crew.
The union requested that British Airways pay cabin crew extra to work on their days off, but this request was allegedly rejected.
As a result, the union warns that some flights may depart with fewer cabin crew than usual. Flights can only take off with the legally required minimum number of crew members.
British Airways revealed earlier this week that the number of visitors to its website increased by nearly 100% following a government announcement that fully vaccinated travelers could avoid quarantine when returning to England from most countries.
BA’s chief executive Sean Doyle has urged the government to go further by reopening travel to and from the United States.
“We are enthusiastic about welcoming more of our customers back over the summer period and reassuring them that British Airways is ready,” Doyle said.
“Our people have been working relentlessly behind the scenes to make important changes to the customer experience that will ensure our customers receive a first-class experience and complete peace of mind”, he added.
The airline has also confirmed that face mask rules will remain in place after July 19 when the British government lifted most pandemic-era rules.
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