Low-cost European airline easyJet has cancelled 1,700 flights over its busy summer period between July and September. The company described the decision as “some pre-emptive adjustments” to its schedule.
All the flights were to or from London Gatwick and the company said nearly all affected passengers had been rebooked on alternative easyJet services.
The airline cited “challenging conditions”, a reference to airspace congestion as the air travel industry rebounds from the fallow years of the height of Covid.
According to GlobalData’s Traveler Demands and Flows, UK air trips have recovered to better than 2019 levels, month-on-month and look to continue on an upward trajectory.
There are also ongoing concerns that disputes between air traffic controllers and EUROCONTROL, Europe’s airspace manager and flight coordinator, will lead to further strike action.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “As Eurocontrol has stated, the whole industry is seeing challenging conditions this summer with more constrained airspace due to the war in Ukraine resulting in unprecedented ATC delays, as well as further potential ATC strike action.”
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The spokesperson added that 1,700 flights cancelled across three months represent fewer than easyJet’s daily operations: “We have therefore made some pre-emptive adjustments to our programme consolidating a small number of flights at Gatwick, where we have multiple daily frequencies, in order to help mitigate these external challenges on the day of travel for our customers and we continue to operate around over 90,000 flights over this period.”