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British Airways had previously announced it would drop 13 destinations from its route network in 2021. The airline is cutting routes in an effort to save costs, and to limit losses incurred when operating scheduled services to destinations where demand has dried up or slowed remarkably.

British Airways will discontinue flights between the UK and these destinations from 28 March: Durban, Pittsburg (US), Charleston (US), Calgary (Canada), Dammam (Saudi Arabia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Osaka (Japan), Seoul (Republic of Korea), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Lima (Peru) and Muscat (Oman).

The airline will also terminate flights to the Seychelles on 24 April and to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 30 April.

SMALLER AIRCRAFT BECOMING THE NORM

Larger aircraft are not useful when flying with smaller numbers of passengers. Like many other airlines, British Airways has been forced to retire older and larger aircraft in its fleet. Several airlines have retired their Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s due to reduced passenger numbers on many routes.

“With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Airways brought forward the retirement of its 747 fleet, thus the airline will be operating a smaller fleet going forward,” commercial aviation expert Keith Green told Tourism Update.

“As a result a number of routes, including the Durban Heathrow route — which was operating only three times a week — have been suspended in the short term.”

IMPACT OF TRAVEL BAN

All flights between the UK and South Africa have been suspended as a result of the second waves of the COVID-19 virus and the highly infectious second variant of the virus which is prevalent in both countries.

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