Covid causes cancellations as more than 60 EasyJet flights disrupted

EasyJet has cancelled more than 60 flights, blaming the disruption on high levels of staff sickness due to Covid.
EasyJet has cancelled more than 60 flights, blaming the disruption on high levels of staff sickness due to Covid.

The majority were cancelled at short notice on Saturday

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EasyJet has cancelled scores of flights leaving some passengers stranded amid travel chaos at some of Britain’s biggest airports, with the airline blaming the disruption on staff shortages due to Covid.

The airline has blamed the disruption on staff shortages caused by Covid, with at least 222 trips axed since Friday.

It said it had made efforts to offset staff shortages by “rostering” additional standby crew on the weekend but was forced to make “additional cancellations for today (Sunday) and tomorrow”.

62 flights scheduled for Monday alone have been pulled, the majority of which were announced at short notice on Saturday.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness.

“We have taken action to mitigate this through the rostering of additional standby crew this weekend, however, with the current levels of sickness we have also decided to make some cancellations in advance which were focused on consolidating flights where we have multiple frequencies so customers have more options to rebook their travel, often on the same day.

“Unfortunately it has been necessary to make some additional cancellations for today and tomorrow. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to customers on affected flights.

“We have made 62 pre-emptive cancellations for flights to and from the UK for tomorrow which represents a small proportion of tomorrow’s total flying programme which was planned to be more than 1,645 flights. We cancelled the majority of these yesterday.”

Some holidaymakers have reported being left stranded abroad with no explanation or alternative route home offered by the airline.

Simon Rudkins, 50, said he was due to return from a ski trip in the Alps with his family when the airline contacted him with less than 10 hours notice saying their flight was cancelled.

He told the PA news agency that his mother, who is 85 and has dementia, had joined them for the journey back. “She gets very confused and she doesn’t need stress,” Mr Rudkins said.

The freelance landscape gardener has had to call customers who were expecting him on Monday to explain the delay and will lose out on money for the jobs, he said.

“We called easyJet asking for alternatives. We basically got told ‘no, there’s nothing, no flights at all. The best you can do is fly tomorrow,” Mr Rudkins added.

“I probably wouldn’t go near easyJet (again). Not because of the fact they’ve had to cancel a flight, but because they don’t care and there was no explanation given.”