COVID causes disruption for British travelers at Easter

Travelers in Britain suffered further disruption during the Easter holidays as two major airlines, British Airways and easyJet, canceled around 100 flights on Wednesday.

British Airways canceled two flights due to coronavirus-related staff absences, adding to more than 70 cancellations due to schedule adjustments. Low-cost airline easyJet has canceled at least 30 flights to or from London’s Gatwick airport.

The aviation sector is suffering from staff shortages due to a wave of coronavirus and having reduced its staff during the pandemic.

British Airways and easyJet have canceled hundreds of flights since the weekend, when the two-week Easter school break began.

EasyJet said it will operate most of the 1,545 flights scheduled for Wednesday, with a “small proportion” canceled in advance to give customers time to book others.

The airline says the number of sick crew members is more than double normal due to high rates of COVID-19 infection in Europe.

British Airways said many of its cancellations are due to last month cutting its flights until the end of May to improve reliability as COVID-19 cases surge.

Transmission in the UK has increased again due to the contagious BA.2 omicron variant, which reached record levels when official figures showed that one in 13 people had the virus.

Many families in Britain have booked overseas flights for Easter for the first time after two years of the pandemic. The obligation of self-isolation of those infected and tests before international travel, among other measures against the virus, were annulled in February and March.

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