British Airways and easyJet cancel more than 100 flights from Heathrow and Gatwick as chaos continues

British Airways cancelled 78 flights at Heathrow on Wednesday following several days of delays at UK airports as airlines struggle to cope with Covid-related staff shortages

British Airways and easyJet have cancelled more than 100 flights to or from UK airports as the travel disruption continues.

The cancellations come as airlines struggle to cope with high levels of staff sickness caused by Covid, with absences around double their normal levels amid a rise in cases.

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British Airways has cancelled 78 flights scheduled to or from Heathrow Airport on Wednesday (Photo: PA)

How many flights have been cancelled?

British Airways has cancelled 78 flights scheduled to or from Heathrow Airport on Wednesday (6 April) as coronavirus-related staff shortages continue to hit the industry.

The total includes flights axed due to last month’s decision by the airline to reduce its schedule until the end of May to boost reliability, as well as routes suspended for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

EasyJet has cancelled at least 30 flights scheduled to or from Gatwick Airport on Wednesday.

Among the routes affected are Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Krakow, Poland; Bologna, Italy; and Berlin, Germany.

The cancellations come after British Airways withdrew six flights on Tuesday (5 April), having cancelled 62 across the country on Monday.

Around 60 easyJet flights to and from the UK were also cancelled on Tuesday, following 62 cancellations on Monday.

The airline has warned that more flights may be cancelled in advance over the coming days.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We have focused on consolidating flights where we have multiple frequencies so customers have more options to rebook their travel, often on the same day, and we expect to make similar levels of pre-emptive cancellations over the coming days, due to the ongoing high level of sickness.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to customers on affected flights. We are contacting customers directly and providing them with their options which include rebooking onto an alternative flight, or receiving a voucher or full refund.”

Which airports have been affected?

Passengers travelling from Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham airports have been badly disrupted due to flight cancellations and staff shortages.

Passengers have faced long queues across UK airports this week (Photo: PA)

Manchester Airport has seen some of the worst delays, with passengers forced to wait in long queues at security and many travellers missing their flights.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) chief Karen Smart stepped down from her role after two years on Tuesday amid the ongoing chaos.

A spokesman for MAG, which also runs London Stansted and East Midlands airports, said she had decided to return to the south of England, where her family lives, to pursue "fresh career opportunities".

Heathrow is now advising people to arrive three hours before their flight is scheduled to depart and to check for cancellations before heading to the airport.

The disruption is impacting many families heading abroad for the school Easter holiday, which is the first since the UK lifted all coronavirus restrictions for international travellers.