British Airways has hired a new operations chief as flight cancellations continue to soar.
Rene de Groot, who currently leads operations at Dutch airline KLM, will move to British Airways as chief operating officer (COO) on October 1.
He joined KLM in 1990 as a pilot and continues to fly for the carrier.
British Airways has been one of the worst affected airlines in terms of cancellations in recent months, as the aviation industry struggles to cope with the spike in demand for travel amid staff shortages.
The Independent reported that by the end of last month the carrier had cancelled 17,600 flights – one out of every nine planned departures – for the summer season, which runs from April until October.
Airlines have until Friday to take advantage of a Government scheme allowing them to cancel summer flights without losing future rights to valuable take-off and landing slots at airports.
In a letter to staff seen by the PA news agency, British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle wrote that Mr de Groot is “very familiar with the issues that we’ve been grappling with”, after leading KLM’s operations amid “continuously changing conditions” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Doyle added: “I am confident that Rene will help us to rebuild our airline and become a better BA.”
British Airways announced in April that it was splitting its operations structure into technical and operations roles.
Current COO Jason Mahoney will take on the position of chief technical officer.
EasyJet, which has also been badly hit by cancellations, parted ways with its COO Peter Bellew on Monday.
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