UK's Gatwick cuts summer flights as airports struggle

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FILE - An indication sign at Gatwick Airport, in London, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Britains Gatwick Airport has slashed its number of daily flights over the summer because of staff shortages as the global aviation industry struggles to meet a resurgent demand for travel. Londons second-busiest airport said Friday, June 17, 2022, it would limit its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August compared to a reported 900 daily flights during the same period before the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File)

LONDON – Britain’s Gatwick Airport has slashed its number of daily flights over the summer because of staff shortages as the global aviation industry struggles to meet a resurgent demand for travel.

London’s second-busiest airport said Friday it would limit its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August compared with a reported 900 daily flights during the same period before the coronavirus pandemic.

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

“By taking decisive action now, we aim to help the ground handlers — and also our airlines — to better match their flying programs with their available resources,” said Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate.

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

Travelers in Britain suffered days of airport delays during the Easter school holidays in April and Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee long weekend this month, with British Airways and easyJet canceling hundreds of flights. Hours-long lines built up at British airport check-in, security and baggage points.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has also slashed its flight schedule for July, saying shortages of security staff mean it can’t cope with the high demand as many families take to the skies for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic has eased.

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