Airlines in the UK are being forced to cancel their flights that were scheduled for departure during the busy Easter weekend over fears of COVID-19 infection among the crew. Easy Jets cancelled around 220 flights over the weekend because of the shortage of staff and with around 70 more to join. Similarly, British Airways has cancelled almost 70 flights to and fro from Heathrow followed by more cancellations on weekends. Due to all these cancellations, some 20,000 passengers will get affected.
These largescale cancellations have led to chaos at multiple airports. Other than the staff shortages among airlines, even airport services are seemingly underprepared to handle the Easter holiday rush. There are long queues of passengers at Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham Gatwick, Luton, and Dublin airports.
According to the Manchester Evening News, annoyed passengers are abandoning their bags, some are trying to jump over barriers, and baggage handlers saying that they are under “more stress than ever” due to the current situation. There are reports stating that the Manchester mayor has suggested use of firefighters and police to help control the mayhem.
The spokesperson for Manchester airport even apologized to the passengers and said that passengers have to withstand longer than normal queues while the airport continues to recruit and train further staff. He further added that the whole aviation industry is facing staff shortages as well as recruitment challenges at present after the most damaging two years in its history.
On top of disruption in air travel, Eurotunnel and Eurostar train operators confirmed that several of their trains have broken up causing further delays.