EasyJet cancels 1,700 summer flights amid fears of further strikes

The airline said around 180,000 passengers would be affected

EasyJet blamed the effect of the war in Ukraine and the possibility of future ATC strikes as the main reasons for its cancellations
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Low-cost airline EasyJet has announced the cancellation of 1,700 flights this summer.

It has sought to justify the move by citing the “difficult conditions in European airspace due to the war in Ukraine and potentially more strikes”.

Most of the flights are those scheduled to depart or arrive at the British airline’s hub at London Gatwick, between July and September.

EasyJet has not responded to The Connexion’s requests to provide a list of the flights to and from France affected by the cancellations.

It did say, however, that around 180,000 passengers will be affected. Many, however, have already had their flights rescheduled.

In a statement, the company said: “The whole industry is seeing challenging conditions this summer with more constrained air space due to the war in Ukraine resulting in unprecedented ATC [air traffic control] delays, as well as further potential ATC strike action.”

The company did not specify which ATCs it was referring to, but strikes by those in France have been cited repeatedly as responsible for major disruption in recent months, including by the CEO of Ryanair, and Willie Walsh, the head of the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

There are also fears of further strikes in the coming weeks. The Union Syndicale Bruxelles (USB), which represents staff at Eurocontrol, the body that manages European airspace, is threatening action over the summer.

Eurocontrol said USB had announced a period of six months during which industrial action could take place, but that no specific date has been fixed.

The pan-European organisation said it was in ongoing dialogue with USB and all the other trade unions to discuss the situation and that it was hopeful of a positive outcome.

Read more: Easyjet boss says France strikes having ‘unacceptable consequences’

Ryanair, Air France-KLM, and Lufthansa have also cancelled flights during the summer period, citing similar complaints.

Earlier this year, Eurocontrol said that 30% of flights in Europe were “potentially impacted” by French industrial action during the first three months of this year.

What if my flight is affected?

EasyJet has apologised for “any inconvenience that this may have caused”, and said that customers whose flights are affected “are being informed”.

It said that 95% of customers will be rebooked onto an alternative flight and that all customers “will be provided with the option to rebook or receive a refund”.

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