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(Credit: Aranxa Esteve)

Music

Festival-goers in Europe warned about EasyJet flight cancellations

This summer, festival-goers across Europe face the risk of travel disruption after the announcement that budget airline EasyJet has cancelled thousands of flights.

The European festival circuit launches back into full swing this year for the first time since 2019, following the wide-scale lifting of restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic. While some smaller festivals managed to return last year, almost every major European festival is back in business this summer. 

A heavy contingent of the travelling festival-goers in Europe fly from the UK. Consequently, pressures from EasyJet cancellations could lead to financial hardship for event organisers as well as the obvious disruption for ticket holders. Upcoming events such as NOS Alive, Lowlands and Open’er Festival are among the most popular.

It was announced yesterday that EasyJet are planning to cut seven per cent of its 160,000 scheduled flights between July and September. This move is expected to cause significant strain on both festival-goers and school holiday travelling. 

The announcement comes after two of the airline’s biggest airport bases, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, both recently revealed that they would be placing a cap on the number of flights taking off during the peak summer season in a bid to combat post-pandemic staff shortages. Flights from other airports are also set to be affected.

EasyJet announced yesterday that they were “proactively consolidating” a number of their flights to give customers time to review and rebook their future trips.

“The ongoing challenging operating environment has unfortunately continued to have an impact, which has resulted in cancellations,” EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren told The Guardian

He continued: “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.”

EasyJet said they expect that most customers will be able to rebook alternative flights with different airlines on the same day they originally booked to travel. They also explained that they would alert passengers as soon as possible about the specific flights they intend to cancel in the coming months.

EasyJet added that they do not intend to raise prices, despite the likely increase in demand for fewer seats. They also revealed that, concerning recent staff shortages, they had been forced to turn down 8,000 job applications from EU nationals who are no longer eligible to work for EasyJet in the UK due to Brexit.

“There are challenges across the whole of Europe and in other parts of the network. But that’s something we have to work through,” Lundgren added about the upcoming cancellations. “We’ve had outages in Paris, we’ve had challenges at Gatwick, we’ve had challenges in Geneva as well.”

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