British Airways Begins 2023 With Pre-Pandemic Movements Exceeded

British Airways Boeing 777-200.
Photo Credit: Jacob Jones/AviationSource

LONDON – British Airways gets off to a strong start in 2023 by exceeding pre-pandemic movement levels. Let’s get into the numbers.

Based on data from, British Airways has exceeded pre-pandemic levels every week in January so far.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

The Numbers…

Data provided by

For January 15-22, British Airways operated 770 flights, based on a seven-day rolling average provided by the flight tracking company.

This represents an increase of 93.47% compared to the same period last year and is around 87 more movements than the same period in 2019.

Below is the overall data for British Airways thus far in January:

Date2019 Numbers2021 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
January 1-8642 movements174 movements516 movements745 movements+44.38%
January 8-15690 movements145 movements433 movements753 movements+73.90%
Data from

What we can see from the data is that the positive percentage differences from 2023 vs. 2022 seem to be increasing week-on-week, with no indication of how long this will last.

It’s probably to be expected that this will continue in the weeks ahead, with it probably intensifying further as we approach the Summer season.

Significant Headway Made Despite Flight Cancellations…

Photo Credit: Jacob Jones/AviationSource

Despite the significant headway made by British Airways so far, it is a clear fact that the numbers could have been much higher.

The reason for that is this: Mass flight cancellations.

Back in August 2022, it was revealed that British Airways was going to cancel 10,000 winter flights, based on data provided by Cirium.

The 120,637 flights that will take place in Winter 2022 equates to an output of around 23.2 million seats. The Winter season begins on October 30th and runs through to March 25th next year.

Of this number, around 94,166 of these flights will be short-haul services that will take place within the UK and Europe, which is a substantial percentage.

Photo Credit: Jacob Jones/AviationSource

This means that around 26,471 flights will be long-haul services either across the pond or further afield into Asia and beyond.

47,400 of the flights will depart from London Heathrow, with 6,550 from London City and 5,501 from London Gatwick.

It remains clear that if the 10,000 winter flights weren’t canceled, then British Airways could have exceeded pre-pandemic levels by a far bigger margin.

Either way, it will be something that British Airways will be happy to have achieved, given the difficulty-laden years that they have had during COVID.


Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

Whilst it is a positive achievement for British Airways, there is still more work for the airline to do on the operational front.

The airline will have to sort out a recruitment crisis on their end, which is industry-wide in the UK, ahead of what is going to be a busy Summer 2023 season.

With more cancellations potentially on the way, all eyes will be on the UK legacy carrier to see how they will perform over this vital period.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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