Over 10,000 passengers affected as British Airways & easyJet cancel flights at Gatwick over weather and ATC restrictions

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Over 10,000 airline passengers have suffered flight cancellations due to adverse weather conditions and air traffic control (ATC) restrictions.

Numerous airlines cancelled flights at Gatwick, with easyJet being the most affected, grounding 34 flights on Sunday and at least nine on Monday (July 8). This comes as two British Airways aircraft were taken out of service for safety checks after being struck by lightning on Sunday.

Passengers affected by these cancellations are not likely to receive compensation, as the disruptions are considered beyond the airlines' control. However, they are entitled to assistance, including refreshments, overnight accommodation, and rebooking with alternative carriers.

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A British Airways spokesperson commented: “Due to air traffic control restrictions and adverse weather, like other airlines we’ve had to make a small number of alterations to our schedule. We know this will be frustrating for our customers and our teams are working hard to get them on to alternative flights as soon as possible, with the vast majority already booked onto services that will fly later today.”

Over 10,000 airline passengers suffered flight cancellations due to adverse weather conditions and air traffic control (ATC) restrictions. Over 10,000 airline passengers suffered flight cancellations due to adverse weather conditions and air traffic control (ATC) restrictions.
Over 10,000 airline passengers suffered flight cancellations due to adverse weather conditions and air traffic control (ATC) restrictions. | Getty Images

An easyJet spokesperson noted: “EasyJet operated around 1,800 flights yesterday and is operating a similar number today, however, some flights yesterday evening and three flights from London Gatwick this morning have unfortunately been disrupted due to the knock-on impact of adverse weather and air traffic control delays.

“While this is outside of our control, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused and are providing impacted customers with hotel accommodation and meals as well as a refund or a transfer to an alternative flight.”

Ryanair managed to avoid cancelling UK flights but experienced delays, attributing them to ATC issues. The airline stated on its website: “ATC services, which have had the benefit of no French ATC strike disruption this summer, continue to underperform (despite flight volumes being 5% behind 2019 levels) with repeated ‘staff shortages’.

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On Monday 8 July, 21% of Ryanair’s first wave departures (134 of 579 aircraft) were delayed due to ATC ‘staff shortages’. These repeated flight delays due to ATC mismanagement are unacceptable. We apologise to our passengers for these repeated ATC flight delays which are deeply regrettable but beyond Ryanair’s control.”

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