MIAMI – British low-cost carrier easyJet (U2) has announced it’ is canceling flights back from Egypt until December due to the COVID-19 lockdown in England, London newspaper The Independent reported on November 4.

As stated in the report, EZ “has grounded hundreds of flights rather than operating near-empty aircraft,” including the route between Manchester (MAN) and Sharm El Sheikh (SSH), the longest in its network.

However, U2 failed in an email to vacationers to give them more specific options regarding rebooking with other airlines. “The email talks of ‘the three options that are available to you,'” the report said. These options were, per the report, “switch to another flight for free” within easyJet, to accept a U2 voucher, or to get a cash refund. Still, some passengers are still confused about the options.

“One family who contacted The Independent were due to fly from Sharm El Sheikh to Manchester on 7 November. They inferred from the email they had no option but to wait a further four weeks in Egypt – with the earliest easyJet flight scheduled for 5 December,” the newspaper stated.

Easyjet G-EZMH. Photo: Mark Harkin

European Rules

Under European rules regarding air passengers, those affected by the cancelations are entitled to be flown back home on other airlines at EZ expense. The newspaper mentioned that “the obvious alternative to the 2,555-mile nonstop link is on Pegasus from Sharm El Sheikh via Istanbul to Manchester.”

According to UK’s Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Matthew Buffey, “passengers who have seen their flights canceled should be offered the choice of reimbursement for cancelled flights, alternate travel arrangements under comparable conditions at the earliest opportunity which includes flights on other airlines, or a new flight at a later date at the passenger’s convenience.”

The airline stated it its website that “if there are no easyJet flights available to get you to your destination within 24 hours, you have the option to transfer to another airline.”

A spokesperson for the airline told The Independent that “we are operating our planned schedule up to and including Thursday 5 November and as advised in the email between then and Sunday 8 November we will continue to operate some flights to ensure all customers who need to return to the UK can do so.”

Featured image: easyJet Airbus A319-111 landing at Rome–Fiumicino International Airport. Photo: Alan Wilson