Airline passengers faced further disruption on Thursday after a computer glitch forced easyJet to cancel around 200 flights across Europe.
The airline has cut a stream of flights due to take off between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., affecting dozens of UK airports to and from, including its largest base at Gatwick.
EasyJet, Britain’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, said it resolved the issue by mid-afternoon but there were delays to other flights. The cause of the problem was not immediately known.
Passengers in Manchester, Luton and Bristol were among the estimated tens of thousands affected.
An easyJet spokesperson said: ‘Previous issues with the IT systems have now been corrected. Unfortunately they resulted in cancellations earlier in the day and while we plan to operate most of our remaining flight schedule, some may still experience disruption in the hours to come.
“We advise customers who need to travel with us to continue to check Flight Tracker for the status of their flight before heading to the airport. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.”
easyJet’s problems are the latest to hit the aviation industry, which has struggled to cope with increased travel demand after restrictions were lifted at the end of the pandemic.
EasyJet was forced to cancel hundreds of flights last month due to staff illness as the coronavirus continued to affect airlines and airports, although passengers were allowed to enter the UK without restrictions .
British Airways has also decided to preemptively cancel around 100 flights a day until the end of October to ensure it can operate its schedule efficiently.
Long queues have persisted at airports since Easter, with Manchester in particular having seen chaotic scenes and delays due to a lack of staff in key roles.
Airports recruited thousands more staff in jobs such as security and ground handling, but many employees were laid off or chose to leave when Covid restrictions effectively stopped most air travel. foreign. New recruits must undergo training and sometimes lengthy background checks before joining.
The latest issue came the day the government promised to strengthen passenger rights, in relation to canceled or delayed air travel. A new aviation passenger charter will be launched this year, as part of an aviation strategy released by the Department for Transport, called Fit to Fly.
He promised to back the airlines in the recovery and also extended a possible olive branch to Heathrow, which had had to fight its own legal battle to enforce official government policy backing its third runway, after opponents won a judicial review.
The strategy, launched at Heathrow on Thursday by aviation minister Robert Courts, said the government would “support airport capacity growth where it makes sense” as part of a 10-point plan to support the industry at large.