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Buckle up: EasyJet pilots say flight cancellations haven’t even peaked yet

In a leaked letter, union members told airline bosses that things will only get worse over the summer

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

Thought the scenes at UK airports were bad enough over the past couple of weeks? Well, it seems things are about to get a whole lot worse. In a leaked letter to airline bosses, EasyJet pilots said that the disruption across its network ‘hasn’t even peaked yet’.

The memo, which was sent by the EasyJet branch of French pilots’ union SNPL to chief executive Johan Lundgren, said a ‘frightening scenario’ loomed as passenger demand continues to soar over the peak summer season.

In the most blistering part of the letter, which was obtained by The i, the pilots said: ‘Literally hundreds of employees in distress have fed back how chaotic our operations have become recently, to unprecedented levels... we are convinced that our disruption hasn’t even peaked yet and frankly this is a frightening prospect.’

Tens of thousands of passengers have experienced flight cancellations and long delays over the past month, and the pilots say further cancellations are expected throughout the summer. They added that it would not be possible to run a full summer schedule without hiring more planning officers and cabin crew members. 

The main cause for cancellations is the large number of staff cut as a result of the pandemic, with airlines unable to hire quickly due to the rigorous checks required in the aviation sector. This has been compounded by IT failures and Brexit making it harder for firms to recruit staff from the continent.

If such issues are not resolved, the EasyJet pilots warned that customers would start turning their backs on the carrier and try other options instead. Given the scale of the disruption over the past month, we’d wager that many have done so already.

Planning a trip? Here are 10 ways to make sure you avoid holiday hell this summer.

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