Government tells aviation bosses to end flight chaos ahead of summer holidays

·2-min read
Travellers queuing at Heathrow’s Terminal Two  (REUTERS)
Travellers queuing at Heathrow’s Terminal Two (REUTERS)

Aviation chiefs have been told to end flight chaos by giving holidaymakers “certainty” ahead of the summer break.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a string of measures aimed at stopping weeks of flight cancellations and delays.

He tweeted: “Holidaymakers deserve certainty ahead of their first summer getaways free of restrictions.

“That’s why today I’ve set out 22 measures to support the aviation industry to minimise disruption and protect passengers – helping with everything from recruitment to scheduling.”

The 22 point plan is aimed at avoiding a repeat of the chaos seen at UK airports during the Easter and Jubilee holidays.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there was “no excuse for widespread disruption”.

Tens of thousands of passengers have suffered flight cancellations and huge queues at airports in recent months and travel plans were still being disrupted on Thursday after Heathrow airport ordered flights to be cancelled because it could not handle them.

A 22-point plan to tackle flight disruption this summer has been unveiled by the Government (Ben Smith/PA) (PA Wire)
A 22-point plan to tackle flight disruption this summer has been unveiled by the Government (Ben Smith/PA) (PA Wire)

The rare “schedule intervention” led to the scrapping of 30 flights during the morning peak with some passengers not finding out their flights were cancelled until they arrived at the airport.

There are fears severe disruption will affect the peak summer holiday period when the academic year for England and Wales ends in around three weeks.

The Government’s action plan includes a number of measures previously announced, such as encouraging airlines to make sure their schedules are “deliverable”, an amnesty on slot rules and permitting new aviation workers to begin training before passing security checks.

A new passenger charter will be published in the coming weeks, providing passengers with a “one-stop guide” informing them of their rights and what they can expect from airports and airlines when flying.

Since the disruption during the Jubilee half-term, ministers and officials have been meeting with the aviation industry weekly to discuss the summer plans and issues that could cause problems this summer.

Mr Shapps said: “It’s now on airports and airlines to commit to running the flights they’ve promised or cancel them with plenty of time to spare so we can avoid the kind of scenes we saw at Easter and half-term.

“With 100 days having passed since we set out that restrictions would be eased, there’s simply no excuse for widespread disruption.”

Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, said: “We share Government’s ambitions for resolving the travel issues that we’ve seen in previous months.

“These actions will help the sector to be more resilient in dealing with strong consumer demand.

“We will work alongside Government and the wider industry to help deliver a better experience for passengers.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting