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EasyJet forced to cancel 1,700 flights in summer holidays which will affect 180,000 Brits

EasyJet forced to cancel 1,700 flights in summer holidays which will affect 180,000 Brits

The airline says customers will be given the chance to rebook or refund if their flight is affected

EasyJet has cancelled around 1,700 flights across the summer with more than 100,000 passengers thought to have been affected.

The airline has cut flights from July to September, with as many as 180,000 customers seemingly impacted.

According to the Press Association, most of the cancellations are at Gatwick Airport, West Sussex and flights due to set off on Fridays and across weekends are expected to be most at risk of disruption.

A spokesperson from easyJet has said that around 95 percent of passengers who were due to fly on the cancelled flights have been placed on alternative flights.

Air traffic control (ATC) restrictions are believed to be the cause of the cancellations.

ATC restrictions due to strikes and airspace closures related to the war in Ukraine are expected to be among the biggest problems facing airlines this summer.

EasyJet has announced hundreds of flight cancellations.
Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images

Eurocontrol, which manages European airspace, recently warned that demand from airlines ‘might get close to capacity’ for ATC in large parts of Europe, including London, Brussels and Madrid.

The airline has apologised to affected customers and say they will be offered the chance to rebook or refund their flights.

In a statement to PA, easyJet said: “We are currently operating up to around 1,800 flights and carrying around 250,000 customers per day with more crew and pilots flying than ever before and like all airlines, we review our flights on an ongoing basis.

“As Eurocontrol has stated, the whole industry is seeing challenging conditions this summer with more constrained air space due to the war in Ukraine resulting in unprecedented ATC delays, as well as further potential ATC strike action.

“We have therefore made some pre-emptive adjustments to our programme consolidating a small number of flights at Gatwick, where we have multiple daily frequencies, in order to help mitigate these external challenges on the day of travel for our customers, and we continue to operate around 90,000 flights over this period.

Strikes and the ongoing war in Ukraine are believed to be affecting air traffic control.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“Customers whose flights are affected are being informed, with 95 percent of customers being rebooked onto an alternative flight and all customers provided with the option to rebook or receive a refund.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused.”

EasyJet then went on to stress that the cancellations aren’t related to staff shortages, which caused travel chaos last year.

One industry expert warned PA that airlines need to get better at planning to avoid disappointing holidaymakers this year.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “I’ve been warning for some time that our UK airport infrastructure, along with continuing people shortages at airlines and ground handlers, cannot cope with the massive summer demand.

“Airlines have to get better at planning and delivering, not letting down customers at short notice."

Featured Image Credit: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images/Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Topics: UK News, Travel, Easyjet