Easyjet cancels 80 flights as travel disruption continueson June 5, 2022 at 12:44 pm

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Airlines continue to cancel flights as travel secretary says industry must solve labour shortages.

Easyjet planes

Image source, Getty Images

Airlines including Easyjet and Wizz Air have cancelled dozens of flights as UK air travel disruption continues.

Easyjet said it had cut 80 flights on Sunday, and apologised to customers for the disruption.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC the aviation industry cut too many jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and it must not oversell flights.

He said he wanted airlines to automatically compensate passengers.

Passengers have faced a raft of UK flight cancellations causing disruptions for many families on half-term holidays.

Easyjet said it had cancelled about 80 flights “due to the ongoing challenging operating environment”.

“We are very sorry and fully understand the disruption this will have caused for our customers,” the airline said. “We are doing all possible to fly them as soon as possible to their destination.”

It said it had extended its customer service opening hours from 07:00 to 23:00, and was helping those affected find hotel accommodation.

‘Overselling’

Mr Shapps told BBC One’s Sunday Morning programme that labour shortages were behind the travel disruption, resulting in airlines “finding it difficult to get people on board”.

“When someone has bought a ticket for a flight, they’ve every right to expect that flight will take off, and not find that flight has been cancelled,” he said.

“Airlines should be cautious about not overselling those flights, [and] where there are problems they need to fix them quickly.”

He said the government had provided £8bn of support to the sector during the pandemic, along with furlough support, so decisions to cut staff had been made by the industry.

Mr Shapps added that airlines had “cut too deep” during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Clearly they [airlines] have been taken by surprise by the way in which people have returned to travel after two years of being locked down,” he said.

He added that he wanted a “proper charter” for passengers se they could get “quick and straightforward compensation or be put on other flights”.

Mr Shapps said he wanted a similar system to “Delay Repay” train passenger refunds “where it’s an automated process”.

Sunday disruption

Gatwick alone showed more than 40 incoming flights cancelled, with 27 of those from Easyjet.

Flights from Barcelona, Nice, Madrid, Belfast, Geneva, Corfu, Faro in Portugal and Glasgow were among those affected.

A handful of BA and Wizz Air flights to Gatwick were also cancelled on Sunday.

Travel expert Simon Calder said that on a typical day you might see half a dozen flights being cancelled to and from the UK, with those spread over all airlines.

Wizz Air had cancelled dozens of flights on Sunday, he added.

He also said about 3,000 passengers heading for Luton had been diverted after a power failure affected air traffic control systems.

Wizz Air had not yet commented.

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