London Gatwick restricts flights all week hitting thousands of travellers
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Gatwick has imposed a week-long cap of 800 flights a day starting with immediate effect.
The West Sussex airport said a total of 164 cancellations will be shared proportionately between individual airlines until Sunday, but easyJet passengers are expected to be the most affected due the airline operating under half of its flights from Gatwick.
Passengers planning to travel on Friday are expected to be the most affected, with 865 flights scheduled to be disrupted.
The decision was made alongside NATS, who run the London Gatwick air traffic control tower. The daily cap will prevent last-minute cancellations and delays for passengers while NATS work through challenges driven by sickness and staffing constraints.
Passengers are advised to check the status of their flights directly with their airlines.
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “This has been a difficult decision but the action we have taken today means our airlines can fly reliable flight programmes, which gives passengers more certainty that they will not face last minute cancellations.
“We are working closely with NATS to build resilience in the control tower, and this decision means we can prevent as much disruptions as possible.
“London Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers who have been impacted by these restrictions.”
The airport has been hit by a number of issues in recent weeks. An outbreak of Covid among air traffic control staff lead to a number of flight cancellations and thousands of passengers facing delays yesterday and today.
Another shortage of air traffic controllers meant flights at Gatwick Airport were cancelled, delayed or diverted at short notice on Thursday, September 14.
This incident came just weeks after the UK's air traffic control system was hit by a network failure on August Bank Holiday Monday.