Not just UK! Calder says Germany, France and Holland in trouble over flight cancellations

Chris Woodroofe has revealed that this summer travellers cannot expect the same experience they had pre-pandemic. Travel expert Simon Calder spoke to BBC Breakfast about what this means for holidaymakers in Europe.

Chris Woodroofe assured the BBC that Manchester Airport has made an “enormous effort” to “throw everything at the recruitment process”.

He told flyers that the situation was improving – “but we’re not there yet”.

Consequently, this summer’s holidaymakers cannot expect a pre-pandemic experience.

“Passengers won’t have the same experience as they did in 2019.

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“But my priority is to get them on their way so they actually get to have those holidays.”

Simon Calder weighed in on this summer’s travel situation.

He said: “Really interesting. Speaking to BBC North West Tonight Chris Woodroofe said that effectively, ‘you are not going to have as good an experience this summer as you did in 2019 before the pandemic’.”

Simon added: “Simply, the airport is overstretched.”

But the problems have not just begun, with the travel expert reporting “awful scenes” at Manchester Airport months ago in April.

A surge of travel over the Easter break meant widespread chaos.

Managing Director of Manchester Airport Karen Smart resigned in early April amid the chaos, with Ian Costigan assuming the role of interim director.

Further chaos and flight cancellations ensued at Manchester Airport over the May bank holiday, according to Simon Calder.

“Since then, at Manchester, things have improved significantly.”

The “usual suspects” of British Airways cancellations to Heathrow, Air France cancellations to Paris and KLM cancellations to Amsterdam.

But it is Gatwick Airport that is set to face the most issues this weekend, according to the expert.

British Airways have cancelled three or four flights already this morning from “really shaky” Gatwick Airport, although it is not the fault of the airport.

However, he assured: “But the vast majority are going to get where they need to be.”

But it is not just the UK that is facing extreme airport chaos.

Simon said: “Covid has come back to haunt us as the BBC has reported, lots more cases of Covid and that is now hitting staff numbers not just in the UK but Lufthansa making loads of cancellations in Germany and to and from the UK because so many of their staff are calling in sick.

He also spoke about some problems in Holland, referencing his daughter whose inbound flight was cancelled leaving her in Amsterdam for an extra two days.

Express.co.uk has contacted Gatwick Airport, Manchester Airport, Heathrow Airport, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and Air France for comment.

British Airways told Express.co.uk: “We took pre-emptive action earlier this year to reduce our summer schedule to provide customers with as much notice as possible about any changes to their travel plans.

As the entire aviation industry continues to face into the most challenging period in its history, regrettably it has become necessary to make some further reductions. We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”

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