Easyjet has confirmed it is to take “pre-emptive actions” including more cuts to its summer flight schedules, in an attempt to reduce the number of delays and cancellations.

The move follows decisions by major European airports including London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol to limit flight and passenger numbers during July and August.

Amsterdam Schiphol to limit passenger numbers due to “incredibly tight labour market”

Easyjet said that it is “proactively consolidating a number of flights across affected airports”, in order to provide customers with advance notice and the potential to rebook onto alternative flights.

The airline did not give exact details of which flights would be cut, but said that it now expects fourth quarter capacity (to September 30, 2022) to be around 90 per cent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

It added that “Given Easyjet’s high frequency network, we expect to be able to rebook the majority of customers on alternative flights, with many being on the same day as originally booked for”.

Easyjet also said that it expected the capacity cuts to be “a one-off this summer”, with the expectation that all parties will build in greater resilience in time for the 2023 peak periods.

The carrier said that booking momentum has continued, with third quarter flights currently 86 per cent sold, and fourth quarter travel 48 per cent sold.

It also said that the medium-term outlook “remains attractive”, with “an additional three aircraft worth of slots” having recently been won at Lisbon airport, which will become available from this winter.

As discussed on our forum, Easyjet – along with other carriers – has suffered from numerous delays and cancellations in recent weeks and months, with challenges including ground handling staff shortages, “a very tight labour market for the whole ecosystem including crew”, and increased ID check times.

Last month the airline confirmed that it would reduce the number of seats on its UK A319 aircraft this summer, to allow it to operate the planes with three instead of four cabin crew.

Easyjet reduces A319 capacity to cut cabin crew numbers

Commenting on the news Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive said:

“Delivering a safe and reliable operation for our customers in this challenging environment is Easyjet’s highest priority and we are sorry that for some customers we have not been able to deliver the service they have come to expect from us.

“While in recent weeks the action we have taken to build in further resilience has seen us continue to operate up to 1,700 flights and carry up to a quarter of a million customers a day, the ongoing challenging operating environment has unfortunately continued to have an impact which has resulted in cancellations.

“Coupled with airport caps, we are taking pre-emptive actions to increase resilience over the balance of summer, including a range of further flight consolidations in the affected airports, giving advance notice to customers and we expect the vast majority to be rebooked on alternative flights within 24 hours.

“We believe this is the right action for us to take so we can deliver for all of our customers over the peak summer period in this challenging environment.”