BA cancels Christmas for Gulf passengers

British Airways offering limited service to Europe over holidays

The opening of Heathrow’s second runway has resulted in a return to normal operations for Gulf carriers, but the cancellation of British Airways flights from the region has continued.

Two of the three British Airways flights from Dubai to Heathrow were cancelled on Wednesday, and the remaining flight has already departed.

Making matters worse, the British Airways website also states that two flights from Dubai will also be cancelled on Thursday, with only BA0104, which departs from the emirate at 1530 UAE time, leaving as normal.

The airline also appears to have cancelled BA0124 on Thursday, which was scheduled to depart from both Bahrain and Doha on the day before Christmas Eve. The following day’s flight has also been cancelled.

The airline is planning to offer a full schedule from Dubai on 24 December.

The cancellations are likely to heavily disrupt the plans of the Gulf’s expatriate community, many of whom are planning to return home at the end of the regional working week.

“I only found out because two of my friends were on the same flight and called me in a panic last night as they’d checked on line and it said it was cancelled,” said one Dubai-based expat.

“I doubled checked online too and then I just immediately searched and booked another flight, pretty much at exactly the same time with Emirates but to Gatwick.

“It seems odd that Emirates are absolutely fine and have flights pretty much at the same time while British Airways is still a complete mess.”

The airline has worsened the confusion by allowing some passengers to check in for flights on the British Airways website, despite the fact that those flights had already been cancelled.

"I've got the boarding pass, and I could have gone to the airport," another Dubai-based Briton told news website Arabian Business. "But I've just rung the number to be told the flight is cancelled and they don't have any spare seats until Christmas Day".

Read the full version of this story on www.arabianbusiness.com.

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