London’s second busiest airport plans to cap its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August in order to achieve “a more reliable and better standard of service”.
Image: Getty Images)
Gatwick Airport is set to reduce the number of daily flights to deal with staffing issues after a series of last-minute cancellations wreaked havoc for holidaymakers.
The airport, London’s second-busiest airport, will limit daily take-offs and landings to 825 in July and 850 in August, after the decision was made following a review of its operations.
The measures were taken to help passengers “experience a more reliable and better standard of service” after plans for the Queen’s platinum jubilee weekend and mid-term holiday caused chaos for some.
The airport’s review revealed that a number of companies including easyJet and Gatwick-based Lufthansa have already announced plans to reduce flights this summer and continue to operate with severe staff shortages over the summer.
The airport warned that passengers could face queues, delays and cancellations if the problem is not fixed.
It comes after a busy anniversary holiday week that saw more than 150 flights canceled across the UK on the eve of the celebrations.
Airline passengers have been hit by disruptions for several months, with the situation worsening this week due to increased demand fueled by the school holidays and the four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The airline industry is suffering from staff shortages after laying off thousands of people during the coronavirus pandemic. Gatwick said it operated around 800 flights a day during the anniversary week.
Gatwick Airport Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick has prepared well to restart international travel with the successful reopening of our South Terminal and we have now successfully hired 400 new colleagues to help us carry passengers quickly this summer to get through security.
“We are also working closely with our airlines to avoid disruption to passengers this summer and while more newly hired staff will start work in the coming weeks we know it will be a busy summer.
“However, it was clear that some companies working at the airport were struggling during the anniversary week due to staff shortages. By acting decisively now, we want to help ground handlers – and our airlines too – better align their flight programs with their available resources.
“As before, the vast majority of summer flights will operate as usual and the measures taken today mean that our passengers can expect a more reliable and better standard of service while improving conditions for staff working at the airport.
“I am extremely grateful to all of our staff for their tireless work over the past few months to get the airport back up and running and for helping get passengers on their journey.”
Grant Shapps, Britain’s transport secretary, earlier this month urged airlines to stop selling flights they can’t staff after a spate of cancellations.
Sign up to get Mirror’s biggest and best stories delivered straight to your inbox at www.mirror.co.uk/email
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/gatwick-slashes-number-flights-summer-27257668 Gatwick is reducing the number of flights this summer to avoid a repeat of the anniversary chaos