British Airways has suspended ticket sales on short-haul flights from Heathrow until August 8, following the London airport’s decision to limit capacity and deal with disruptions and widespread cancellations.

The IAG-owned airline, which also owns Iberia, said the suspension of sales to domestic and European destinations was intended to allow existing customers to rebook flights when needed.

Airlines and airports across the UK and Europe have struggled to cope with the surge in travel after lockdowns, with many unable to hire enough staff to manage check-in and baggage handling.

Heathrow, like Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, has asked airlines to limit the number of tickets they sell during the summer, after having capped the number of passengers flying from the hub to 100,000 a day to limit queues, baggage delays and cancellations.

Heathrow said last week that the cap had brought about a marked improvement in punctuality and baggage handling.

“As a result of Heathrow’s request to limit rebooking, we have decided to take responsible action and limit the fares available on some Heathrow services to help maximize rebooking options for existing customers, given the restrictions placed on us. imposed and the continuing challenges facing the entire aviation industry,” British Airways said in a statement.

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