UK airline EasyJet could cancel several hundred flights this week as it struggles to deal with staff shortages caused by Covid cases.
The airline was forced to cancel 222 flights at the weekend and another 62 yesterday (April 4).
“As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses, easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness,” the company wrote in a statement.
It said that it was mainly cancelling journeys on routes where there were several flights to give customers the chance to book a new flight, possibly on the same day.
Twenty flights from or to Nice Airport in the southeast of France were cancelled yesterday, including between Belfast, Gatwick (London), Porto, Geneva, Rome and Toulouse.
Many affected passengers have complained on Twitter about flights being cancelled at the last minute and difficulties in finding alternatives, particularly from Paris and Geneva, France 24 reported.
Apparently @easyJet reckon it's sound to cancel a flight to Paris 16 hours before it's due to take off, with no option to transfer flights and no alternatives to get there in time bar a £506 Eurostar. Will be expecting some heavy compensation from this, disgusting pic.twitter.com/65eiVxPEro— Oli (@olifisher) April 1, 2022
The majority of EasyJet’s flights are flying as normal, the company stated, with the cancellations mainly impacting British airports Gatwick, Luton and Manchester.
The company says that affected passengers can choose to change their journey, receive a voucher or request a full refund.
EasyJet has removed the requirement for staff and passengers to wear masks on certain routes, although they are still required when flying to France. There is no confirmation that this policy is necessarily behind the increase in Covid cases among the company's staff.
British Airways has also cancelled around 100 flights due to Covid-linked staff shortages, the Guardian reports.
The UK and France are both reporting high rates of daily Covid cases.
France has reported an average 138,626 cases each day over a weekly period (data from April 1), while the UK reported 81,000 per day on average (data from March 25).
The case rates are decreasing in both countries.