Posted on Jun 05, 2022
Airlines including Easyjet and Wizz Air have cancelled dozens of flights as UK air travel disruption continues, the BBC reports.
Easyjet said it had cut 80 flights on Sunday, and apologised to customers for the disruption.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC the aviation industry cut too many jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and it must not oversell flights. He said he wanted airlines to automatically compensate passengers.
Passengers have faced a raft of UK flight cancellations causing disruptions for many families on half-term holidays. Easyjet said it had cancelled about 80 flights on Sunday "due to the ongoing challenging operating environment".
"We are very sorry and fully understand the disruption this will have caused for our customers," the airline said, adding it was doing everything possible to get passengers to their destinations.
It said it had extended its customer service opening hours from 07:00 to 23:00, and was helping those affected find hotel accommodation.
Mr Shapps told BBC One's Sunday Morning programme that labour shortages were behind the travel disruption, resulting in airlines "finding it difficult to get people on board".
"When someone has bought a ticket for a flight, they've every right to expect that flight will take off, and not find that flight has been cancelled," he said.
"Airlines should be cautious about not overselling those flights, [and] where there are problems they need to fix them quickly."
He said the government had provided £8bn of support to the sector during the pandemic, along with furlough support, so decisions to cut staff had been made by the industry.
Mr Shapps added that airlines had "cut too deep" during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Clearly the airlines have been taken by surprise by the way in which people have returned to travel after two years of being locked down," he said.
He added that he wanted a "proper charter" for passengers so they could get "quick and straightforward compensation or be put on other flights".
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