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10th Jul 2023

Easyjet cancels 1,700 flights ahead of summer holidays


The cancellations come amid a surge in flights leaving the UK this July

Easyjet has cancelled 1,700 flights just as people prepare to take off on their summer holidays.

The flights are in July, August and September, to and from Gatwick airport, just as many schools in England and Wales go on break.

The BBC reported that the airline has blamed constrained airspace over Europe and ongoing air traffic control difficulties, for the cancellations.

However, the company has said 95 per cent of affected passengers had been rebooked onto alternative flights and that those affected had been given the option to rebook or get a refund.

It further added that the cancellations represent, roughly, one day’s worth of flights. It will still operate about 90,000 journeys over the period.

The BBC further reported that July is scheduled to record the highest number of UK flight departures since October 2019, citing data from aviation analytics firm Cirium.

It said 11 per cent more flights would depart the UK than in July 2022.

A spokesperson for EasyJet said the airline industry was seeing “challenging conditions this summer” as the closure of Ukrainian airspace due to Russia’s invasion in February 2022 war caused congestion in the skies and disrupted flights. Planned strikes by air traffic controllers in Europe were also having an impact.

The spokesperson told the BBC: “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.”

A surge in demand for flights post covid last year coincided with major staff shortages at airlines and airports, causing a myriad of problems.

Across 2022 as a whole more than a third of UK flights were delayed.

Cirium told the BBC that demand in July for flights to Turkey, Greece and Croatia has outstripped pre-pandemic levels.

But departures to key destinations such as Spain, France and Italy had fallen.

Read the full BBC report here.

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