‘It will be epic’: British Airways releases optimistic message to Britain as flights dwindle

“We miss you too,” says Louise Naismith, a senior member of BA cabin crew, in a video message to the nation released to The Independent by the airline.

She is one of dozens of British Airways staff included in the one-minute film. Engineers, dispatchers, call-centre staff and pilots have filmed themselves on aircraft, in hangars, on the airport apron or at home.

The video message, entitled “Dear Britain,” is accompanied by Delibes’ Flower Duet, the music that BA has used for the last three decades.

In the film, Ms Naismith says the airline is “flying you home to your family and friends.”

British Airways continues to fly domestic, European and intercontinental routes, though it has cut flights to a skeleton service to and from its main base at London Heathrow.

BA has temporarily closed its operations at Gatwick, and London City airport is shut completely until May at the earliest.

The airline’s chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, is filmed at BA’s Waterside headquarters near Heathrow.

He says: “Like you, our colleagues are doing all they can to support the NHS.”

On Thursday, Mr Cruz wrote to passengers, saying:  “Sadly, we know that now is not the time to travel.

“We don’t know when it will be, but we do know that when our aircraft are cleared for take-off once again, it will be epic.

“Families will be reunited, the wheels of industry will start turning again and when they do, we’ll be ready, to fly and to serve.”

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BA has only 18 departures on Friday. A single domestic service is being operated to and from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, with two round-trips to Belfast City.

The European route network comprises Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Gibraltar and Nice.

Five of the six the long-haul flights are to US destinations: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York JFK and Washington DC. The only other intercontinental service is to the South Korean capital, Seoul.

The links comprise about 5 per cent of the normal service level.

The airline has recently faced criticism for removing the facility for passengers to claim refunds for cancelled flights online. Customers are steered towards a “future travel voucher,” and anyone insisting on cash must call the airline.


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