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Photograph: Oleg Elkov /

The chaos at airports is going to spill over into 2023

Delays are expected to continue into next year due to the closure of the airspace over Ukraine

Ella Doyle
Written by
Ella Doyle

It feels like there have been delays and cancellations at UK airports for ever now. And we’ve got bad news – it’s not looking like they’re going to ease up any time soon. Yep, the season of lost luggage and eight-hour queues in the UK isn’t over just yet. Sorry folks. 

EasyJet has said that travel disruptions may continue into 2023 due to the closure of the airspace over Ukraine. Sophie Dekkers, the airline’s chief commercial officer, told the government’s transport select committee: ‘We can assume the squeeze on air traffic outside of eastern European airspace will not change anytime soon, so we need to prepare for the fact further ATC [air traffic control] delays on route are going to be a bigger impact.’

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This is most likely to affect flights throughout southern Europe, and many could be cancelled through winter this year. There are even rumours of another daily passenger cap at certain airports (according to The Sun).

Heathrow currently has a limit of 100,000 passengers a day, which is set to be lifted at the end of the month. But as flights pick up over the Christmas period, the airport has warned that more curbs could be on the cards. Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said travel remained uncertain due to ‘economic headwinds, a new wave of Covid and the escalating situation in Ukraine’.

He added: ‘While we face many economic headwinds, as well as the legacy of Covid, our aim is to get back to full capacity.’

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