DALLAS – London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) has announced that it is to limit the number of flights that will operate from the facility this summer.
Usually, LGW handles around 900 flights per day during the peak summer season in August. However, due to staffing shortages, flights will be capped at 825 per day in July and 850 in August.
‘Taking Decisive Action’
Stewart Wingate, LGW’s CEO, said: “It is clear that during the Jubilee week, a number of companies operating at the airport struggled, in particular because of staff shortages.”
“By taking decisive action now, we aim to help the ground handlers, and also our airlines, to better match their flying programmes with their available resources,” Wingate added.
The flight cap is aimed at avoiding the last-minute cancellations seen recently at airports across Europe. Management hopes this will help passengers “experience a more reliable and better standard of service.”
In the UK, more than 150 flights were cancelled during the four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend. This, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), equates to around 4% of flights, up from the usual 1%.
London Gatwick’s biggest operator easyJet (U2), will face the worst of the cancellations. It said it was “aware” of the cap and is “reviewing the details” to assess how it will affect its operation. A spokesperson for the carrier added: “We recognise the need for Gatwick Airport to do this so that all airlines can provide reliable services for their customers.”
British Airways (BA), Wizz Air (W6), Vueling (VY), and TUI (BY) are also expected to cut flights.
Meanwhile, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is discussing reducing its flights with its airlines. BA is already cancelling approximately 120 departures per day at LHR.
The move comes after the Department for Transport (DfT) and CAA wrote to airlines and airports telling them to reduce their summer schedules to ensure they were “deliverable.”
Featured Image: Flights at LGW will be capped at 825 per day in July and 850 in August. Photo: Gatwick Airport.