British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) will cut its summer 2022 season schedule by 10%, mainly by trimming its short- and medium-haul plans, so as to avoid an operational collapse precipitated by a lack of staff.

"The rebuild is challenging. The US carriers had similar rebuild problems earlier in the process, we see problems in Europe and the UK industry getting the system back up and running," Chief Executive Sean Doyle said during a quarterly earnings call.

The cuts affect 8,000 round trips scheduled throughout the season. Following the adjustment, the entire IAG International Airlines Group now expects to reach 80% of its pre-pandemic capacity during the summer season, down from 85% in the original forecast. The holding hopes to increase its capacity to 85% in the third quarter and 90% in the fourth quarter, partially thanks to a hiring spree that should see 6,000 new staff enlisted by the end of 2022.

IAG Chief Executive Luis Gallego said the current shortages pertained to ground staff for the most part. The airline group, much like many other carriers in Europe, is struggling to rehire workers after the pandemic and is facing record numbers of absenteeism due to COVID-19 cases. It has also been affected by delays in obtaining staff security clearances. In order to bypass British red tape, the airline is planning to open a crew base at Madrid Barajas airport. It is also wet-leasing four A321-200s from Finnair (AY, Helsinki Vantaa) and two B757-200s from Titan Airways (ZT, London Stansted).