Easter delays for UK travelers due to COVID-19 flight cancellations

LONDON – British travelers going abroad over the Easter holiday faced disruption on Monday as two main airlines, British Airways and easyJet, canceled dozens of flights due to staff shortages related to Rising cases of COVID-19 in the UK

Budget airline easyJet halted 62 scheduled flights on Monday after canceling at least 222 flights over the weekend, while British Airways said around three dozen of the 115 flights canceled on Monday were due to pandemic-related problems.

An easyJet spokesman said it was “experiencing higher than normal levels of employee illness” due to high rates of COVID-19 infection across Europe.

The airline added that the number of canceled flights “accounts for a small proportion” of the total of more than 1,600 flights scheduled for Monday.

Several British Airways flight cancellations were made last minute due to employee complaints and around 25 other flights were the result of the airline’s decision to reduce its overall flight schedule in recent weeks.

“While the majority of our flights continue to operate as planned, as a precaution, we have slightly reduced our schedule between now and the end of May as we ramp up our flights,” the airline said. again”.

“Aviation has been one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic and airlines and airports are facing similar problems rebuilding their operations while managing the continued impact of COVID.” “, it added.

The Easter holiday, which starts this week, is the first time many UK families have booked overseas trips after two years of restrictions. All remaining virus measures, including mandatory self-isolation for those infected and testing requirements for international travel, were canceled in February and March as part of the UK’s “living with COVID” scheme.

But coronavirus infections across the UK have rebounded with the rapid spread of the more contagious variant of Omicron BA.2, hitting a record last week when official figures showed every 13 people 1 person has coronavirus.

Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest airport, said it anticipated delays this week as it is expected to see the largest number of people traveling since the lockdown in March 2020.

Travel disruptions worsened on Monday after Eurotunnel said services for visitors to Calais in France were delayed by hours due to a train “temporary stop in the tunnel”.

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