Airline companies ordered to cancel summer flight to avoid travel chaos

 Wednesday, June 15, 2022 

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The airlines have been ordered by the government to cancel flights for July and August now to “de-risk the summer” for tens of thousands of passengers. The Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have warned carriers to trim schedules now to avoid the misery of flights cancelled at short notice.

In a joint letter to airlines, they say that the cancellations at the earliest possibility to deliver a more robust schedule are better for consumers than late-notice on-the-day cancellations.

The instruction means that many Britons with trips already booked for July, August and September will find their flights cancelled. They will need to choose other departures – which should be at the expense of the airline that grounds their flight – or cancel for a refund.

The letter appears squarely aimed at easyJet. Britain’s biggest budget airline is currently cancelling around 60 flights per day, the majority of them to and from London Gatwick airport.

While easyJet has introduced some longer-term cancellations, extending into July, many flights are grounded at a day’s notice or even less.

Wizz Air, the third-biggest European budget carrier (after Ryanair and easyJet) has also been making short-notice cancellations.

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the CAA, and Rannia Leontaridi, director-general for aviation at the DfT, tell the airlines that the outcomes for too many consumers recently have been unacceptable. It is imperative that we see an improvement to the resilience in the system, planning and scheduling to reflect the available capacity ahead of the summer period.

Their expectation is that you and all those involved in delivering aviation services will take all possible steps to prepare for and manage passenger demand that helps to avoid the unacceptable scenes we have recently witnessed.

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