Canceled flights live: EasyJet blames Brexit amid further summer cuts as Heathrow suffers a ‘meltdown’

The boss of easyJet is blaming Brexit in part for its numerous flight cancellations this summer.

Britain’s biggest budget carrier has been axing around 30-60 services a day amid staff shortages, and today announced it would be preemptively cutting hundreds more over the summer.

Rather than running 97 per cent of the pre-Covid summer program, easyJet now expects to operate 90 per cent.

Johann Lundgren, the airline’s chief executive, told The Independent that some of the operating issues were down to difficulties hiring workers after Brexit: “The pool of people is smaller, it’s just maths.

“We have to turn down a huge number of EU nationals because of Brexit.”

The government has vehemently denied that the chaos seen at UK airports in recent months has anything to do with the country’s departure from the EU.

Last week the aviation minister, Robert Courts, told MPs on the business select committee it was “not likely” that Brexit played a part in airlines ‘and airports’ chronic staff shortages.

Meanwhile, Heathrow has asked airlines flying from Terminals 2 and 3 to cancel 10 per cent of their schedules today due to mounting problems with its baggage handling.

An estimated 15,000 passengers on 90 flights will be affected.


Stansted: Our queues are ‘no different to pre-pandemic’

London’s Stansted Airport has said its queues are “no different to pre-pandemic” after MP David Lammy tweeted criticizing its security queues and what he termed “#BacklogBritain”.

Labor MP Mr Lammy tweeted from the airport on Sunday saying: “Another morning, another horrid queue at airport security! This time at Stanstead [sic]. Well done @BorisJohnson. Top marks @pritipatel Welcome to #BacklogBritain ”.

A spokesperson for the airport defended the queue situation, saying a queue at security “does not mean anything has gone wrong, or different to pre-pandemic days”.

They added that customers who post photos on social media “do not necessarily follow up when the queues move very quickly”.

“The security area is designed to screen up to 5,000 passengers an hour so there will always be other passengers in the area,” said the spokesperson.

Lucy Thackray20 June 2022 16:52


‘If you do not have enough pilots, stop selling all of the flights’: One US mum slams airlines

Following thousands of cancellations across the US during the past weekend, one mother has hit out at her airline, Delta, saying that her child had to sleep on an airport floor due to the disruption.

“@Delta If you do not have enough pilots, stop selling all of the flights,” wrote Nikki Weber.

“I would rather pay more and arrive on time so my kids aren’t sleeping on the disgusting airport floor in the middle of the night waiting for your pilots to arrive.”

Meanwhile Twitter user Caoimhe complained that her airline had refunded her for a flight they had canceled, but took $ 30 US out of the refund amount due to a “cancellation fee”.

Lucy Thackray20 June 2022 16:23


Turn up three hours early for UK flights, says Brussels airport

Brussels airport expects to reopen to departing flights on Tuesday, but warns passengers to the UK to turn up three hours ahead.

The Belgian hub has seen a strike by security staff working for G4S.

The airport tweeted: “We remind you that due to the national demonstration on Monday, no departing passenger flights are operated. For Tuesday and Wednesday, we expect a large number of passengers following the rebookings of the reservations initially planned for Monday.

For departures, please arrive at the airport in time: 2 hours in advance for Schengen flights and 3 hours in advance for non-Schengen flights. Check the status of your flight and prepare your hand luggage in order to limit screening times.

“For arriving flights, please check the flight status on our website, as flight times may be affected.”

Brussels airport has also explained its decision to close on Monday, saying: “This case of force majeure makes it impossible to guarantee the safety of passengers and staff. This decision is needed to avoid chaotic situations. ”

Simon Calder20 June 2022 15:47


How can you tell if your flight’s been canceled?

It’s official: the chaos of last-minute flight cancellations seen in recent months has reached such a fever pitch that the Department of Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have stepped in, warning airlines to curb summer schedules now to avoid misery later.

It follows numerous stories of passengers turning up to the airport – or even having boarded the plane – only to be told that their flight had been axed, wrecking thousands of travelers’ holiday plans.

Meanwhile, Gatwick announced it was putting a cap on the number of daily operations in July and August from a maximum of 900 departures and arrivals to 825 and 850 respectively.

Passengers on easyJet will bear the brunt of the canceled flights, with British Airways, Wizz Air, Tui, Norwegian and Ryanair also expected to ground departures.

But how will you know if your flight has been cut and what are your rights if it does not go ahead? Read our guide:

Helen Coffey20 June 2022 14:48


What has Heathrow Airport said about its flight cancellations?

Heathrow Airport has called for airlines to cancel 10 per cent of their flights today.

Management said the cuts were due to mounting problems with its baggage handling services.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We apologize unreservedly for the disruption passengers have faced over the course of this weekend.

“The technical issues affecting baggage systems have led to us making the decision to request airlines operating in Terminals 2 and 3 to consolidate their schedules on Monday 20 June.

“This will enable us to minimize ongoing impact and we ask that all passengers check with their airlines for the latest information.”

Lucy Thackray20 June 2022 13:42


Around 1,000 US flights canceled on Sunday

The US has not been exempt from the current travel chaos – on Sunday, some 1,000 flights were canceled, with Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson the worst-hit airport.

Several US airlines blamed staff shortages, sickness and absence, as well as poor weather for the disruption.

After Delta canceled some 700 flights over the weekend, a spokeperson for the airline cited a range of factors for the airline’s own cancellations.

“A variety of factors continue to impact our operations, including challenges with air traffic control, weather, and unscheduled absences in some work groups,” they said.

Other airports affected were Charlotte Douglas in North Carolina, New York’s LaGuardia and Newark Liberty; and Washington DC’s Reagan Washington International.

Lucy Thackray20 June 2022 13:21


Passengers miss flights at Amsterdam Schiphol amid four-hour queues

Several passengers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport have taken to social media to vent about hours-long queues – with some saying they missed their flight.

Jessica Blank wrote: “Arrived 4 hours early, as instructed by the airport, just to wait in the security line for 4+ hours walking about 1.5 miles and still missing our flight. And all I got were these two syrup waffles… ”

Chrissy Sorenson added: “Been queuing 2 hours already and looks like I’ve about the same left to queue. 4 hours is not enough time unless you sort the shambolic unorganized system. It’s a joke. ”

Meanwhile, Elisabeth Bik wrote: “It took us more than three hours to check our luggage and go through security @schiphol. No time for coffees, boarding of our flight to San Francisco has just started. Happy to have made it! ”

Hafid Tilburg added: “Where did it go wrong with Amsterdam @Schiphol Airport? 2 hours queuing for security check. At least give priority to families with small children and elderly people. ”

Lucy Thackray20 June 2022 13:03


British airlines borrowing EU plans to get around Brexit rules

Several UK airlines are borrowing European aircraft as a loophole to get around recruitment issues caused by Brexit.

Carriers including British Airways, easyJet and Tui have adopted the tactic of “wet-leasing” plans from European airlines to dodge post-Brexit rules around staff visas.

Following the Brexit transition, UK airlines require EU staff working on UK-registered plans to hold a British visa. However, leasing an EU-registered plane means it can be staffed by an EU-resident crew.

Despite having its own aircraft in storage, British Airways has leased a handful of aircraft from codeshare partners Iberia (based in Spain) and Finnair (Finland).

Lucy Thackray20 June 2022 12:38


EasyJet drops 7 per cent of summer schedule

Britain’s biggest budget airline has confirmed it will cull hundreds of flights this summer as it struggles with its promised schedule.

Rather than running 97 per cent of the pre-Covid summer program, easyJet now expects to operate 90 per cent.

After a weekend in which dozens of flights were grounded at short notice, the airline said: “Demand for travel has returned with April and May passengers seven times the same months last year.

Given the unprecedented ramp up, the aviation industry across Europe is experiencing operational issues with root causes similar to the post-Covid supply chain issues being seen in many other parts of the economy.

“The challenges include air traffic control delays and staff shortages in ground handling and at airports, resulting in increased aircraft turnaround times and delayed departures which have a knock-on effect resulting in flight cancellations.”

Simon Calder20 June 2022 12:00


Brussels airport cancels all departing flights

No passenger flights are taking off from Brussels airport all day on Monday due to a strike by security staff.

In a statement, the Belgian hub said: “Brussels airport has closed to all departures due to security strike.

“No departing flights on Monday 20 June.

“Due to the national manifestation and strike of a large part of the security staff of G4S on Monday 20 June, no passenger flights will depart from Brussels airport.

“Passengers are urged not to come to the airport and to rebook their flight.”

Simon Calder20 June 2022 11:15

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