BALPA warns of summer flight disruption

By Lisa James
Home » BALPA warns of summer flight disruption

Pilots’ union BALPA is warning the current chaos at some UK airports will be repeated in the summer because the issues will not have been sorted out by then.

The union also says it raised concerns with Aviation Minister Robert Courts on 25 January about potential problems during holiday periods but claims the warning fell on deaf ears.

BALPA General Secretary Martin Chalk told the Telegraph: “The chaos witnessed at British airports may well be repeated throughout the summer because airlines, laden with debt… have not yet rehired enough staff.”

He added: “We warned ministers several months ago of the threat of disruption during the Easter holidays because airlines were not building enough resilience in their operations.

“We told Robert Courts. He listened politely, but the Government failed to act.”

EasyJet and British Airways cancelled flights over the weekend and yesterday and there were chaotic scenes at airports including Manchester, where staff shortages caused long queues.

EasyJet says it plans to make similar levels of pre-emptive cancellations over the coming days.

British Airways has reduced its schedule until the end of May, although it says the vast majority of flights continue to operate as planned.

Passengers are being warned to arrive at airports in plenty of time during the busy Easter period.

A Government spokesperson said: “The aviation industry is responsible for resourcing at airports and they manage their staff absences, although we want to see minimal disruption for passengers during the Easter period.

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