Britons hoping to travel out of the country over the Easter holiday will face delays and long queues as severe travel disruptions continue to affect airlines and ferry services. .

It comes after British Airways and easyJet canceled more than 100 combined flights on Friday, affecting around 15,000 passengers.

Many flights were canceled on Saturday, with British Airways grounding at least 72 and easyJet grounding five.

Ferry operators are also struggling to keep up with demand after P&O Ferries suspended service after laying off nearly 800 employees. However, the operator said earlier this week that it was preparing to restart sailings “from this weekend”.

Heathrow, Manchester and Leeds airports have advised travelers to arrive at least three hours before their scheduled departure time to minimize long waits through security and ensure they are not missed flight.

The Civil Aviation Authority wrote to airports and airlines on Friday expressing concern about the disruption, warning that last-minute cancellations and “excessive” delays could impact negative impact on consumer confidence.

Letterwritten by Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the aviation watchdog, reads: “Given the consequences for passengers of canceled and disrupted journeys, I encourage you to do all you can. possible to ensure that you have the necessary qualifications of properly trained and employed staff in the place.”

The airline industry is grappling with a staff shortage after cutting thousands of jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Difficulty recruiting new employees and growing absenteeism due to employee illness related to the coronavirus have led to severe worker shortages, adding to disruption.

Labor has urged the government to intervene, with shadow transport minister Louise Haigh urging ministers to prioritize staff at Manchester and other major airports through Home Office security checks so they can begin. work as soon as possible.

She accused the government of “lack of action”, adding: “Tory ministers need to step up and act to ease disruptions. The government needs to start addressing the huge backlog of security checks so airport staff can safely start work.”

Haigh also called on ministers to enter into urgent talks with ferry and tunnel operators Eurotunnel to increase capacity after P&O suspended services.

Additional report of PA

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