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London Heathrow asks carriers to cut flights as air chaos reigns

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Airport authorities requested carriers cancel about 10 per cent of flights.

PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – London’s Heathrow Airport asked some airlines to cancel a number of flights scheduled for Monday (June 20), the latest hitch to roil travel.

Airport authorities requested carriers cancel about 10 per cent of flights on Monday across terminals two and three, a Heathrow spokesperson said in a text message.

An estimated 15,000 passengers on 90 flights will be affected.

The move came in response to the knock-on effect of a baggage system fault over the weekend, the spokesperson added. About 30 flights will be hit by the move.

London Gatwick airport said last week that it would scrap hundreds of flights over the peak summer travel period, after Amsterdam’s Schiphol hub took a similar step.

Meanwhile, Dublin Airport authorities have said they will compensate some passengers who missed their flights amid long queues. The aviation industry’s capacity crisis has deepened as post-lockdown travel demand has surged, with airlines and airports struggling to hire enough staff to handle the revived passenger flows.

Up to now, Heathrow has been less impacted by staffing crisis hitting the wider industry since its key long haul flights have been slower to recover following the pandemic.

Virgin Atlantic cancelled at least three long-haul flights to destinations including New York and Los Angeles, while British Airways had been forced to make a small number of cancellations. Three flights British Airways had planned to Toulouse in France had been grounded alongside two of four Marseille departures.

Low-cost airline easyJet said on Monday it was cutting thousands more flights this summer after London Gatwick and Amsterdam airports reduced capacity and it battled staff shortages on the ground and in the air.

The British carrier said it expected to fly about 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity in July, August and September, down from the 97 per cent it had scheduled last month, which would have been around 160,000 flights.

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