There seems to be no end in sight to the uncertainty facing air passengers who are worried about whether their flights from the UK will be canceled this summer.
Not all airlines contacted by Sky News could not provide a date when no more flights would be canceled before the hectic holiday period.
It comes after Heathrow asked airlines on Monday to reduce 10% of flights at two terminals, while easyJet started canceling thousands of summer flights.
No one gave a clear answer to that question.
In addition, none of the airports where cancellations have taken place answered the same question, and most said that it was the airlines’ business to comment.
This is despite the fact that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told travel managers to “do their part” to solve the problems that are causing chaos at airports after meeting with airport managers as well as airlines earlier this month.
Tens of thousands of half-time holidaymakers were stranded abroad due to canceled flights during the half-time holiday in late May and early June and there are fears that the scenes may be repeated during the summer break.
Some of the easyJet cancellations are believed to have come after Gatwick Airport announced that it is limiting the number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August to help passengers “experience a more reliable and better standard of service”.
It is believed that this could mean canceled up to 10,000 of 160,000 easyJet flights for sale for July, August and September, although the airline’s CEO Johan Lundgren said on Monday that the company had not decided how many canceled flights it could be during these months .
Which airports are affected?
Most of the airports Sky News contacted said they did not expect to see any cancellations.
Airports in Luton, Stansted, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton all said they had not had to cancel flights or limit capacity during the summer.
But Gatwick confirmed what they reported last week, adding that its lid was designed to “prevent short-term notice and last-minute cancellations”.
Heathrow said in addition to British Airways removing 10% of its summer schedule from the airport: “As a precautionary measure (and in line with what other hub airports in the EU such as Frankfurt and Amsterdam have also done), we also worked with airlines last month to determine available check-in capacity at various points during the day.
“We then partnered with the airlines well in advance of these expectations to enable them to either rework or consolidate their flights to ensure that passengers ‘check-in experiences were secure and to smooth out the airlines’ check-in staff.”
What do the airlines say?
EasyJet, which on Tuesday night still could not give a figure on the number of cancellations, said that affected customers would be “notified immediately in the coming days”.
It said: “We continue to work through the flight program to complete the flights concerned. The vast majority of customers’ flights will not be affected and by those who are, the majority of customers will be rebooked within 24 hours. We will notify affected customers directly in the coming days with information about their alternative flights or the possibility to rebook or get a refund. “
A spokesperson added that although the majority of those affected will be rebooked for free within 24 hours, all customers who cannot switch to another easyJet flight for free within 24 hours will be able to rebook with alternative operators and will receive compensation for this and all other reasonable expenses incurred as a result of their canceled flights.
BA said that the vast majority of cancellations that have been reported are not new, but were planned and remedied about a month and a half ago, and customers were then notified.
The company says it reduced its schedule by 10% (about 8,000 round trips) until the end of October as a result of resource challenges and about 85% of the affected passengers have arrived at their destination within 24 hours of their original scheduled arrival.
A spokesperson added: “We have taken responsible precautionary measures to change our schedule to provide more security for our customers and give them maximum flexibility to either rebook with us or another airline as close to their original departure time as possible or to obtain full refund. “
Tui said they planned to notify people as soon as possible if their flights were canceled, adding: “Although flight delays and canceled flights with us are rare, unfortunately the increase in people going on holiday combined with complex operational problems and the supply chain that a very small number of TUI holidays were affected during the first weekend of the half-year period in May.
“Our holidays rely on a complex system of services. This includes our own pilots and cabin crew, as well as operational partners covering things like check-in, luggage and catering. In addition, we work closely with air traffic control and airport security. Our planes can not get to the skies when these systems do not work together as they should.
“This was an extraordinary situation and we took more than 230,000 people on holiday during the half-year week. Our flights now run as usual and we do everything we can to ensure that customers can look forward to enjoying their summer holiday as planned.”
Wizz Air and Vueling had not yet commented at the time of publication.
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