Published on : Friday, June 3, 2022
The airports in Britain are coming under rage for failing to prepare for this week’s Queen Platinum Jubilee getaway and the busy summer season, as passengers face long delays and cancelled flights. Sharon Graham, head of the country’s biggest trade union Unite says that the UK’s airports are in crisis because thousands of jobs have been slashed. The airline industry was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the flights were grounded by lockdowns and travel restrictions. Carriers and airports laid off thousands of employees. But Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab accused airlines of a “lack of preparation” in the run-up to the holiday surge now restrictions have been lifted.
Thursday and Friday are public holidays in Britain as part of four days of celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The airline companies for Europe, which represents European Union airlines, predicted the problem would continue “for a good chunk of the summer season”.
British Airways and easyJet
British Airways and easyJet have cancelled more than 150 flight like Tui, as the huge travel chaos continues. The UK holidaymakers faced further delays going into the extended Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday, amid further recriminations between ministers and the aviation industry over who is to blame for the disruption.
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, met the travel industry bosses on Wednesday afternoon following news that BA had cancelled at least 124 short-haul flights at Heathrow airport, although the airline said passengers had been given advance notice. The low-cost carrier easyJet also scrapped at least 31 flights at Gatwick airport, including those scheduled to depart for Bologna, Barcelona, Prague, Krakow, and Edinburgh.
The travel operator Tui has cancelled six flights a day from Manchester airport for the whole of June. The Manchester airport blamed the move on staffing shortages at Tui and its ground handler Swissport, which manages its check-in and baggage handling.
Flight Cancellation and Delays
On the latest day of flight cancellations and disruption at airports, one easyJet passenger tweeted a photograph taken shortly after 4am at Manchester airport, which showed a lengthy queue of people in the terminal’s car park.
Manchester Airport Apology
The Manchester airport is expecting more than 330,000 passengers to pass through the airport between Thursday 2 June and Sunday 5 June. The airport apologized for disruption and advised passengers to arrive three hours before their flight.
Another easyJet passenger complained of having to wait for more than two and a half hours to collect their luggage after they landed at Gatwick shortly before 3am. He called this “simply not good enough”. The travellers have faced several weeks of delays and disruption at airports across the UK, with demand for foreign trips bouncing back after the easing of all UK Covid-19 travel restrictions.
There are many workers in the aviation industry were made redundant or left the sector during the pandemic, when international travel was grounded for months at a time.
Shapps has criticised travel firms, saying they had “seriously oversold flights and holidays relative to their capacity to deliver”. Following the meeting on Wednesday with senior leaders from the aviation industry including airports, airlines and ground handling companies, he warned that there could not be a repeat of such disruption over the summer.
He said that they are grateful to those airlines and operators who have continued to deliver good services despite the current pressures and we recognise that not all operators have been affected in the same way. I also understand the resourcing strains on the aviation sector, but it does not excuse poor planning and overbooking flights that they cannot service. The companies who have seen the most disruption need to learn from those who ran services smoothly.
The airlines and airports have said that they had repeatedly requested specific financial support for the sector during the pandemic, as government Covid-19 travel restrictions made international travel difficult and costly.
Tags: British Airways Airline, easyJet, TUI, UK
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