EasyJet cancellations to hit 1.5 million summer holidaymakers

Mr Lundgren said that post-Brexit restrictions have forced easyJet to turn away 8,000 applications from European Union nationals to work for the airline, despite claims by the aviation minister Robert Courts last week that leaving the bloc was not to blame.

The easyJet chief insisted that he was “not blaming” Brexit and admitted that his company had failed to prepare for the impact of the UK leaving the European bloc.

Nevertheless, he said that Brexit had a negative impact on the airline’s pool of potential candidates.

The flight cuts this summer were announced as easyJet revealed it had cancelled more than 4,000 flights in the three months to the end of June.

The action had to be taken to avoid the repeat of chaotic scenes that first emerged as Britons jetted off during the Easter holidays.

Mr Lundgren said: “Coupled with airport caps, we are taking pre-emptive actions to increase resilience over the balance of summer, including a range of further flight consolidations in the affected airports, giving advance notice to customers and we expect the vast majority to be rebooked on alternative flights within 24 hours.”

The airline said it had taken the action following unprecedented restrictions by airports such as Gatwick and Amsterdam.
The carrier also blamed delays to a Government-overseen ID checking scheme that created a huge backlog in clearing new staff to begin work.

Mr Lundgren said: “Delivering a safe and reliable operation for our customers in this challenging environment is easyJet’s highest priority and we are sorry that for some customers we have not been able to deliver the service they have come to expect from us.

“We believe this is the right action for us to take so we can deliver for all of our customers over the peak summer period in this challenging environment.

“Coupled with airport caps, we are taking pre-emptive actions to increase resilience over the balance of summer, including a range of further flight consolidations in the affected airports, giving advance notice to customers, and we expect the vast majority to be rebooked on alternative flights within 24 hours.”

With an average easyJet plane holding 175 people, and assuming that each is 85pc full, an estimated 1.5 million passengers’ flights are likely to be affected.

EasyJet’s shares were hit harder than its rivals’ during the pandemic.

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