EasyJet slashes June flight schedule to avoid further chaos at airports | easyJet
EasyJet has reduced its flight schedule for the rest of June to overcome the travel chaos seen during the school holidays when staff shortages led to last minute cancellations for thousands of people.
Britain’s biggest carrier has been criticized for its handling of the disruption which has also seen passengers suffer lengthy delays. In a message to staff on Friday, its chief operating officer, Peter Bellew, said the carrier was making preemptive cancellations for the “days and weeks ahead” to “increase resilience on the network.”
“Doing these cancellations is not something we take lightly, but what’s worse is canceling our customers’ plans the day they’re ready to fly,” Bellew said in the post. shared with the Guardian. “We are all aware of the impact of the current situation on our customers, our employees and our reputation.”
The airline was also working on a plan to address issues “within our own operations which are within our control”, he said, adding: “We also want to make sure we have the appropriate measures in place. appropriate mitigation for problems affecting the industry”.
Bellew said: “We want to share the plan on this very soon, but we also have to deal with the immediate operation. We are making preemptive cancellations for the days and weeks ahead to increase resilience across the network. »
The aviation industry has struggled to cope with the huge rebound in flight and holiday demand following the lifting of Covid travel restrictions. This is blamed on staff burnout in the air and on the ground as thousands of workers have either lost their jobs or found new positions at other companies during the pandemic.
Recent 11am cancellations by easyJet have been contrasted with more decisive action by companies like British Airways which in May cut a 10th of its flight times until October – the equivalent of 8 000 back and forth – after battling for Easter.
“Due to the continued impact of the difficult operating environment on our day-to-day operations, we have made a small proportion of additional flight cancellations in advance for June,” said an easyJet spokesperson, who said 40 flights a day to and from the UK, out of a total of around 1,700, were affected. “We are truly sorry for the inconvenience caused.”
“We are notifying customers in advance to minimize the impact on their plans and offering them the option to rebook before traveling or receive a refund, and our customer service hours have been extended to support affected customers” , the spokesperson added. “We continue to monitor the operation closely and take action in advance if necessary.”
As airlines including easyJet are forced to cancel flights this weekend, Martin Chalk, the general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association, said ‘the more notice you give a passenger, the better c is” because “when airlines get their planning wrong, it’s the staff who feel the heat of customer dissatisfaction.”
“We would much prefer airlines to be upfront with their passengers as it is then easier to manage ongoing operations. When customers are left out in the cold without their service, it’s much harder for staff to deal with,” Chalk said.