Brit holidaymakers hoping for a sunny getaway this summer could have them dashed as easyJet may cut 10,000 flights affecting 1.5 million people, it is reported.
The budget airline has already cancelled hundreds of flights due to staff shortages and IT issues causing misery for many passengers.
And it announced that it will be cutting more flights as it bids to “build additional resilience” as airlines across Europe are experiencing “operational issues”.
These include air traffic control delays, staff shortages in ground handling and at airports, and increased times for identity checks of new recruits.
But now a reported source has said that easyJet is looking to cut up to 10,000 flights which will affect the holidays of 1.5 million people.
Around 1.5 million people could be affected by the reported cancellations
These will be flights to typical holiday hotspots like Spain and Greece, and they are expected to take place during July, August and September, the source told the Telegraph.
Problems affecting the aviation sector across Europe has already led to thousands of cancellations particularly during school holidays at Easter and the half-term period which coincided with the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren told reporters "I can't tell you how many flights will be impacted" as "we need to work this through".
There have been widespread issues at airports so far this summer
Bloomberg via Getty Images)
He added: "It would be misleading for me to give any numbers today because we simply don't know."
Mr Lundgren said easyJet had planned to operate around 160,000 flights between July and September, before the cancellations being made.
In May, the carrier expected its capacity to be at around 97% of 2019 levels over that three-month period, but this has been reduced to 90%.
EasyJet had already announced it plans to make cancellations over the summer
EasyJet admitted there will be a "cost impact" from the disruption, and the amount of money it spends to operate each seat per kilometre excluding fuel will "exceed" previous guidance.
It said: "We believe that these capacity/cost impacts are a one-off this summer as we would expect all parties to build greater resilience in time for 2023 peak periods."
Mr Lundgren 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."