EasyJet Announces Plan To Cut 7% of Their Summer Flights Over Staff Shortages

Around 30 flights carrying up to 5,000 passengers have been cancelled at Heathrow Airport due to technical issues affecting baggage systems.

The airport asked airlines to cut 10% of flights from schedules across terminals two and three on Monday.

It comes after problems at baggage reclaim areas, with images of luggage being piled up high emerging last week.

Tens of thousands of passengers have been hit by airport disruption and flight cancellations in recent weeks.

It was gathered that some airlines might be able to combine flights at Heathrow meaning some passengers will not have their journeys postponed.

The airport said cutting the number of flights would “minimise” the impact of the technical issues affecting baggage systems.

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“We apologise unreservedly for the disruption passengers have faced over the course of this weekend,” a statement said.

British Airways, which operates from terminals three and five, told the BBC it had made a “small number of cancellations” as a result of the airport’s request.

It’s understood BA will be able to re-accommodate the vast majority of customers onto new flights.

Elsewhere, EasyJet has announced plans to cut 7% of the 160,000 flights it expected to run between July and September.

The move came after Gatwick, the airline’s main airport, said it will cut the number of flights taking off from its airport during the peak summer season because of staff shortages.

Hundreds of flights across the UK were cancelled during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and half-term holidays, and concerns have been raised of further travel woes during the summer.

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The disruption has been caused by several factors, but staff shortages has left the aviation industry struggling to cope with resurgent demand.

EasyJet confirmed there would also be flight cancellations at other airports across the airline’s network including Amsterdam’s Schiphol hub but it has not yet worked out a precise number. Last week, Schiphol said it would cap the number of passengers allowed at the airport over summer, leading to a 16% fall in planned flights also due to staff shortages.

EasyJet said customers would be given advance notice and the potential to rebook onto alternative flights. It added many would be able to rebook on the same day the had originally planned to travel.

It said in recent weeks the sector had experienced an “unprecedented ramp-up” in demand for travel, with April and May passenger numbers reaching seven times higher than same months last year.

EasyJet’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said the airline would usually operate about 160,000 flights during the summer months.

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He apologised that the company “had not been able to deliver the service” that customers “have come to expect from us”, and he expected the airline to be able to “re-accommodate” passengers.

“I can’t tell you how many flights will be impacted,” he said. “It would be misleading for me to give any numbers today because we simply don’t know.”

The airline said it was cancelling the flights to build additional resilience, in the face of operational issues including staff shortages in ground handling and at airports as well as air traffic control delays.

“Coupled with airport caps, we are taking pre-emptive actions to increase resilience over the balance of summer, including a range of further flight consolidations in the affected airports, giving advance notice to customers and we expect the vast majority to be rebooked on alternative flights within 24 hours,” Mr Lundgren added.

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