EasyJet apologises after axing 1,700 flights, hitting 180,000 passengers

EasyJet winter losses
By Harry Kemble
Home » EasyJet apologises after axing 1,700 flights, hitting 180,000 passengers

EasyJet has cancelled 1,700 flights out of a total of 90,000 across its network for the remainder of this summer.

The decision has affected 180,000 passengers, including those flying out on easyJet holidays packages.

The majority of the cancellations are at London Gatwick, easyJet’s largest base.

The airline blamed the war in Ukraine, saying this had led to ‘unprecedented’ air traffic control (ATC) delays, which are understood to be three times longer than before the pandemic.

EasyJet said 95% of affected passengers had been rebooked onto alternative flights and all customers have been provided with the option to rebook or receive a refund.

An easyJet spokesperson 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.

“Like all airlines, we review our flights on an ongoing basis. As [European air traffic management body] 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 over 90,000 flights over this period.”

The spokesperson added: “Customers whose flights are affected are being informed, with 95% 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 said the cancellations amounted to less than a day’s worth of flying.

Tour operator easyJet holidays said nearly every passenger has been rebooked onto new flights so their package holiday can go ahead.

An easyJet holidays spokesperson said: “We’ve worked hard to ensure we are rebooking easyJet holidays customers onto alternative flights so that their package holiday can go ahead as planned, and we’re pleased to have successfully rebooked 99.6% of easyJet holidays customers whose flights were impacted.

“For the remaining customers, we’ll be in touch with alternative options available to them.”

Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “Changes to travel plans late in the day can be stressful, and those impacted by the easyJet cancellations will be having to seek alternative flight arrangements now.  

“Disruption because of congested airspace is an issue facing the airline industry during this very busy period but it’s essential that airlines do all they can to ensure that there is as little disruption to travellers as possible.”

She urged customers to book their holidays with a travel agent, saying: “Many people across the UK chose to book their flights and accommodation independently, but by doing so, run the risk that if parts of the holiday are cancelled then they have to make alternative plans.

“Whereas those booking with a travel agent or tour operator and packaging the component parts under an ATOL agreement, means that the tour operator or agent have to seek the alternative on behalf of the customer.”

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