Gatwick cancels 4,000 summer flights sparking holiday travel chaos for thousands | The Sun

GATWICK Airport has cancelled 4,000 flights over the summer – sparking holiday travel chaos for thousands of Brits.

Daily flights will be capped at 825 in July and 850 in August – compared to 900 a day during the same period in previous years.

It means as many as 4,000 flights will be scrapped at the UK's second-busiest airport – ruining the summer plans of an estimated 800,000 people.

It said the decision was taken following a review of its operations and that it is "temporarily moderating its rate of growth" for two months.

And it hopes it will help passengers "experience a more reliable and better standard of service" because of the cuts.

Gatwick has insisted that the reduction will allow airlines to manage more predictable timetables and help the ground handling companies during the school holidays, adding that the vast majority of scheduled flights this summer will operate as normal.

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Its review found that a number of companies based at the London airport are continuing to operate with a severe lack of staff resources over the summer holiday period.

The airport warned that if the issue was not addressed, passengers could experience queues, delays and cancellations.

It comes after a busy holiday week, which saw more than 150 flights being cancelled across the UK on the eve of the Platinum Jubilee.

Airline passengers have been hit by disruption for several months, with the situation worsening that week due to the rise in demand sparked by the half-term school holiday and the four-day weekend.

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EasyJet has cancelled 600 flights this month, while TUI has been forced to cancel more than 180 flights in June, affecting around six flights a day.

British Airways cancelled thousands of flights in advance between March and October to prevent short-notice cancellations.

And a statement made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Department For Transport (DfT) has urged airlines to cancel even more flights in advance, to avoid short-notice cancellations.

The cancellations in the aviation industry are being caused by staff shortages after letting thousands of people go during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive of Gatwick Airport Stewart Wingate said: "Gatwick prepared well for the restart of international travel by successfully reopening our South Terminal and we have now successfully recruited 400 new colleagues to help us process passengers quickly through security this summer.

"We are also working closely with our airlines to avoid disruption to passengers this summer, and while more newly recruited staff will start work in coming weeks, we know it will be a busy summer.

"However, it is clear that during the Jubilee week a number of companies operating at the airport struggled in particular, because of staff shortages. By taking decisive action now, we aim to help the ground handlers – and also our airlines – to better match their flying programmes with their available resources.

"As has already been the case, the vast majority of flights over the summer will operate as normal, and the steps taken today mean that our passengers can expect a more reliable and better standard of service, while also improving conditions for staff working at the airport.

"I am immensely grateful to all our staff for their tireless work over the last few months to get the airport back up and running, and for helping get passengers away on their travels."

It's not just Covid cancellations which will affect Brits this summer – Ryanair cabin crew are set to walk out across Europe next month, causing more chaos.

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And British Airways staff are also threatening to strike.

Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert.com has issued fresh advice to customers that they are due an alternative flight or full refund if their flights have been cancelled or delayed.

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