Thousands of British Airways flights have been cancelled in the coming months due to the Heathrow Airport passenger cap and lower than expected demand over the winter period.

BA has cancelled 629 short-haul round trips up to October 29, after London’s busiest airport extended its 100,000 daily passenger limit due to staff shortages.

Around 5,000 BA short-haul flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airport have also been cancelled over the winter period – around 8% of the airline’s flights up to March 2023.

BA suspend ticket sales
British Airways planes at Heathrow Airport (Steve Parsons/PA)

BA said those affected by the cancellations would be contacted by them and given an alternative flight or a refund.

A spokesperson for BA said: “Following Heathrow’s decision to extend its passenger cap, we’re making adjustments to our short-haul schedule for the next two months.

“While the vast majority of our customers will travel as planned and we’re protecting key holiday destinations over half term, we will need to make some further cancellations up to the end of October.

“In addition, we’re giving customers travelling with us this winter notice of some adjustments to our schedule, which will include consolidating some of our short-haul flights to destinations with multiple services.

“We’ll be offering customers affected by any of these changes an alternative flight with British Airways or another airline or the option of a refund.”

In July, Heathrow Airport imposed a passenger cap until September 11, meaning airlines had to cancel flights and limit seats on some journeys.

On August 15, the west London airport extended the cap until October 29.

BA flight capacity has been reduced overall by around 13% between May and October this year.

Other airlines are also expected to make cancellations over the next two months.