Gatwick Airport and easyJet have been found to be the worst affected airport and airline as more than 200 flights have been cancelled last minute this week as travellers attempt to take advantage of the Jubilee bank holiday and half-term.
Since Friday 27 May, a total of 365 passenger flights departing from UK airports have been grounded, with 207 flights cancelled since Monday alone, according to aviation analytics company, Cirium Data. This equates to two per cent of all UK scheduled departures.
London Gatwick has been most impacted with a total of 67 cancellations over this week, with Manchester Airport following with 35 cancellations, London Heathrow with 25 cancellations, and Bristol at 11.
EasyJet has cancelled the most departing flights with a total of 95 cancelled from the UK over this week, Cirium found.
Other airlines follow including British Airways with 24 flights cancelled, Eastern Airways with 18, TUI with 15 and Loganair with 14 cancelled flights.
Over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, 10,794 departures from UK airports are scheduled, equating to nearly two million seats. As travellers face mounting concern that their flight might not go ahead as planned, here’s a list of the airports and airlines that have been worst affected by the disruption this week.
Which airlines have cancelled the most flights?
Of all the flights that were cancelled from the UK over the past week, 46 per cent were operated by easyJet. The budget airline cancelled a total of 95 since Friday 27 May, almost all of which were due to depart from Gatwick Airport to destinations in Europe including in Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic.
The airline said customers were told last week about cancellations and it apologised for any inconvenience caused.
In a statement it said: “easyJet will operate around 1,700 flights carrying around a quarter of a million customers each day over the bank holiday weekend, with a small proportion cancelled in advance and customers informed last week with options to rebook or receive a refund. We are sorry for any inconvenience for affected customers.”
British Airways cancelled 24 flights over the past week, including from its regional airline BA CityFlyer. This comes on top of hundreds of other reported cancellations of both regional and international flights by BAover the past week, though the company said these had been pre-planned due to staffing issues and passengers had been made aware in advance.
A spokesperson for the airline said the aviation industry has been going through a challenging period, adding: “We took action to reduce our schedule to help provide certainty for our customers and are giving them maximum flexibility to either rebook with us or another airline as close to their original departure time as possible, or to receive a full refund.”
British regional airline Eastern Airways has cancelled 18 flights over the past week.
Loganair, a Scottish regional airline based in Glasgow Airport, has grounded 14 flights this week.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Loganair is not immune from the wider challenges affecting the entire aviation industry. We are working through ongoing issues as quickly as we can, and do not envisage the wholesale cancellation of flights at the scales that are being reported in the media with some airlines.
“We cannot guarantee there will be no delays on flights, no airline can, but we will continue to afford our customers with the best possible care and in line with regulatory requirements.”
German travel and tourism company TUI has cancelled 15 flights since Monday but insisted that most of its flights were operating as planned.
Many of the recent TUI cancellations have been from Manchester Airport, and those who have not been able to fly should get a full refund.
The company said in a statement: “We’re incredibly sorry to those customers who have been impacted by the recent disruption to our operations. We understand that last minute cancellations are incredibly disappointing and we would like to reassure our customers that we are doing everything we can to get them on holiday as planned.”
Jet2, a low-cost British airline, has not cancelled any flights in recent weeks, although travelers have reported long delays at airports.
A company spokesperson said: “Firstly, Jet2.com has not cancelled flights. The half-term period is a very popular time for holidaymakers and we are operating a huge programme of flights, taking many thousands of customers away on their well-deserved holidays.
They said they are receiving positive customer feedback due to hardworking staff members, continuing: “You only have to look at our fully staffed check-in desks to see the difference between ourselves and other airlines.”
“Of course, we are aware that some customers may have experienced delays at other points in the airport, for instance going through security, however this is completely outside of our control,” they added.
British airline Virgin Atlantic has not cancelled any flights this May half term.
Which airports have been the worst affected?
Gatwick Airport has been the worst impacted by this week’s travel chaos, will a total of 119 flights cancelled in the past week, 67 of which were announced since Monday. These have been largely from easyJet, with some from British Airways, Wizz, Vueling, and TUI.
A total of 35 flights have been cancelled from the northern airport this week, mostly from easyJet and BA.
The busiest airport in the UK has faced 25 cancellations over the past week.
With about 1,100 outbound flights per day, a spokesperson said the impact is “negligible” and not out of the usual for a busy time of year.
Bristol Airport has seen 11 cancellations this week.
Ten flights were cancelled at this Scottish airport since Monday, with an additional two cancelled since Friday 27 May. It means that out of 1,893 departing flights, just 0.6 per cent were cancelled.
The issue is not so prevalent in Scotland, with just one international flight and five domestic flights being grounded since Friday 27 May.
One was an easyJet flight to Gatwick and the rest were BA flights.