I’m not an airline logistics planner, but the amount of cancelled flights always seems disproportionate to “the offending incident”
I am not a planner either however it seems that rather than being disproportionate to the incident the level of cancellations is never enough!
It could be argued that from a passenger perspective it is better to under promise and over deliver but with BA they always seems to over promise and then under deliver.
The consequence of not cutting the entire short haul operation was that long haul passengers were subsequently delayed also, in some case over night on board.
BA can do nothing about LHR having just 2 runways and operating at 99% capacity (aside from support a new airport – which it does not) but it does control its own operations.
I would prefer the certainty of cancellations and the smooth resumption of flying the following day against the scenes of chaos and huge queues not to mention the knock on effects of aircraft and crew who are out of place.
It is vital that BA runs its long haul flights but short haul should be held at origin or return there whenever possible. Passengers can be dispersed from point of origin on other carriers or accommodated. It must surely be easier and more convenient to do so for a short haul flight at an outstation than for many thousands at disrupted LHR.
There is little that can be done for long haul inbound passengers who are to transit onto short haul, but again it must be easier to deal with these passengers if it were clear what was operating and what was not.
It should also be remembered that BA would have been forced to cancel whoever had caused the incident be it Heathrow Airport, Virgin, Lufthansa or whoever.