DALLAS – British charter airline and holiday operator TUI Airways (BY) has canceled a fourth of its June flights from Manchester Airport (MAN).
Following tumultuous scenes at airports over the weekend, BY executives decided to curtail 43 flights each week in June, according to The Telegraph.
Manchester Airport is one of BY’s most important bases in the United Kingdom. The world’s largest charter airline, carrying 11.8 million passengers as of 2019, carries roughly 200 passengers per flight, thus affecting up to 37,000 vacationers in June.
As industry leaders deal with chronic staff shortages, hour-long lines snaked out of terminal buildings at Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, and Gatwick this morning.
Chiefs in MAN, already scarred from being accused of travel disruptions during the Easter break, are said to be enraged that the chaos has resurfaced at the airport and are blaming BY for it.
TUI announced that it had made the very tough choice to cancel 43 flights each week from MAN for the rest of June, accounting for approximately a quarter of the airline’s services from one of the country’s busiest airports.
“We would like to apologize to our customers who have experienced flight delays and cancellations in recent days and understand that many of our customers have been looking forward to their holiday with us for a long time,” the spokesman added. “All other airports in the UK are planned to operate as normal.”
“We understand how disappointing this will be for those impacted; however, we believe this is necessary to provide stability and better customer service at Manchester Airport. We will continue to work closely with all our airport partners and suppliers so we can provide the best possible holiday experience for our customers.”
According to The Telegraph, ministers slammed airline and airport executives for failing to prepare for a busy summer season, which comes after two years of disruption due to COVID restrictions.
Meanwhile, a government source told The Times that the unexpected cancellations of flights and airport delays were simply unacceptable.
“The simple fact is that airlines and airports overcut staff during the pandemic, ignoring the fact that the billions of pounds of aid – including furlough – handed out by the Government was meant to protect those very jobs.
“Operators are now struggling to meet increasingly busy schedules as we move towards the first Covid-free summer since 2019 – a wholly foreseeable surge in bookings that should have been adequately prepared for.
“The responsibility for maintaining adequate staffing levels lies with the airlines and airports themselves. Not only are they causing huge frustration to their customers, but they are also missing out on the benefits of the strong recovery in foreign travel.”
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