Gatwick in the UK cuts summer flights as airports struggle

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Gatwick Airport has cut its number of daily flights over the summer due to a staff shortage as the global aviation industry struggles to meet growing travel demand.

London’s second-largest airport announced on Friday it would limit its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August, down from 900 daily flights reported in the same period before the coronavirus pandemic.

The airport said in a statement that the move would help passengers “experience more reliable and higher quality service.”

“By taking decisive action now, we aim to help ground handlers – as well as our airlines – better match their flight schedules with their available resources,” said Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate.

Passengers have suffered delays and cancellations as airports across Europe struggle to cope with staff shortages and soaring demand for flights after two years of the pandemic. Airlines and baggage handling companies that laid off staff during the pandemic are scrambling to boost numbers again.

Travelers to Britain suffered days of airport delays during the Easter school holidays in April and the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee long weekend this month, with British Airways and easyJet canceling hundreds of flights. Queues lasting several hours have built up at check-in, security and baggage check-in points at UK airports.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has also cut its flight schedule for July, saying a shortage of security staff means it cannot cope with high demand as many families take to the skies for the first time since that the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic


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Edward L. Robinett